As someone whose jewelry is all over the web and also in a number of hardcopy publications, this is an issue that really affects me. However, I have mixed feelings about it just the same.
First, I don't think anyone has the right to copy another designe's work without permission in order to profit from the design. That is just plain w-r-o-n-g. If you can't make and sell your own jewelry designs, then you should not be in the jewelry business.
On the other hand, I sometimes feel like a little too much concern surrounds this issue from designers who think everyone is copying their work, when very often (not always of course), multiple designers may come up with similar designs unknowingly. I can't tell you how many times I have come up with designs that I think are the most unique fan-tab-ulous in the world, only to see them pop up in a magazine or catalog a few weeks later. I actually used to joke with my husband about how I was being watched because I was so darn brilliant and talented.
What are your thoughts? Is this a huge problem or not?