For the people who follow me more than a year ago, you know I've wrote about this subject before. You can see it here. After all this time I still agree with all I've said back then.
Now that I have a 'commercial' perspective, things have a different proportion. Because there's still people copying and there will always be. Is it ethical? No. Is it fair or look good? nope.
There's no purpose in making copies of the work of your 'competition'. Either you're original and do your own thing with your own style or you end up being just a cheap copy. I can't stress enough of how important it is for you and your clients to have your own image! If you're copying something you'll end up risking your work. You're so focused in doing what others are doing that you lose your identity and eventually your clients.
It doesn't matter if you use the same color presets, if you change the way you work, if your products are the same, you'll always be just a copy of someone that does something that you can't do by yourself! And that leads me to the main subject of this: do you really want to be just a copy? Is that your goal? Shouldn't you be doing your best to get your own style and the recognition by your own ideas? Does it feel good to congratulated by ideas that aren't yours, that you took from someone else?
Isn't more important to be true to yourself?
Once I read this book called 'It's not how good you are, it's how good you want to be.' and the title by itself says it all. Aim higher. Don't be a copy, be original. You won't be good just because you're copying someone that is. And your 'fame' will be temporary because tendencies change and you won't keep up. People who copy other people don't evolve because they don't look for inspiration, because they don't want to get better every day.
So yes, this will always be a subject that makes me itchy and angry, and probably this won't be the last time I write about it. Seriously, stop being lazy and unoriginal and do your own thing. It's sad you know? Seriously. People will notice and think that you copy because you don't have the ability, creativity, the effort and interest to do better.
And I want to end this post saying this is not directed to someone in particular.