In my lifetime, I have heard countless people scream and pitch fits over individuals that seem to be 'copying' their ideas or stealing their ideas, creating derivative works, everything. From artists to adult toy designers, all the way into the consumer sector. It truly becomes tiresome hearing people screech indignantly about being 'ripped off'. But lets discuss this at length.
What is creativity?
Do you define creativity as being able to look outside the box when presented a problem? Perhaps you define it by imagination. Maybe even you define it by artistic skill alone or the will to overall 'create'.
Do you consider creativity to be the ability to take something, build off of it and create something new and exciting?
Are you aware that there is nothing truly 'original'? Everything is based and 'remixed' from other things. For example, even though many individuals have never seen Star Wars, it would be irrational to say they have never been inspired in some capacity by Star Wars through the transitive property of derivative work. And in that sense, even Star Wars was a derivative and 'remixed' work. It was inspired by many things, including George Lucas's interest in Flash Gordon and japanese martial arts.
The story of the Hero's Journey is seen in almost every single entertainment outlet. MANY movies and stories follow the structure of the Monomyth. (For more information about the Hero's Journey, please consult the book by Joseph Campbell's book "The Hero with a Thousand Faces".)
To further emphasize...Creation requires influenceWe are ALL creating from the same material.
The things that have built off of everything else, the past, the present, everything that ever has been and everything that is now.
To complain that someone has 'copied' your character, first you should look at your influences for that character. Then realize how much you've adapted and changed to create inherently derivative work.
Or to those who scream that someone has made a derivative work of a physical creation of yours. How did they change it? Is it different? Has it adapted? Odds are it is not the exact same.
By 'copying', we learn, we experiment, we grow. Until we can 'create'.
To scream that there can only be 'one' of something, be it a basic design of a toy or a simple idea of 'living robots' to give an example... It's.... madness
But what do you think? Is there such thing as an original thought without initial copying, combining, and transforming existing ideas?