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Went to visit another display and was surprised to see....


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AI wrote:

Yes but it just ain't right; No sense of creativity? They probably could not of done it on there own. Sad :{AI

I've been saying that for a long time, and usually the thread turns into a sarcastic thing about how nobody can even put lights on bushes anymore because that would be "copying".

Some here seem to not understand that there's a distinct difference between outright copying and using display ideas from other displays...


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tfischer wrote:

Some here seem to not understand that there's a distinct difference between outright copying and using display ideas from other displays...

greenmeanie wrote:

This thread is useless without pics ;)

Someone needs to take pictures/videos of the Fl display so we can compare the two.

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well, I for one think that if you look at the big picture, we all are the same. And we all copy from one another. There is not one unique display that has totally new ideas that nobody has seen before, and there will probbly never be one, obvisouly Marty doesn't care, so I don't know why we are all getting crazy about someone stealing ideas from him.

Over the summer I personally asked Marty for permission to do a singing reindeer, of course, he doesn't have it trademarked, so legally I didnt have to, but I felt responsible to ask.

If we look at this closely, anyone who uses a Mr. Christmas, or even a Controller with presequenced show isn't creative, although that isn't the case, and most of the time thoes displays look better then actual displays sequenced by individuals (going to have to admit mine is probbly one).

But however you look at it, you don't own that idea, (for now) so whatever you do, is fair game for everyone. And I personally would rather see a bunch of identical houses down a block.. then a dark block..


-If any of my ideas are good enough to steal. Everyone has my permission to take them-

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I don't think anyone is disagreeing with the idea that copying display elements is fine. The issue is with almost exact duplication.

Shall we start a new thread listing agreed upon the assumption that "borrowing" other people's ideas are ok when adapted for use in someone's display I don't think gstarr ever stated anything to the contrary, so why are people assuming he did?

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ndiaz wrote:

And I personally would rather see a bunch of identical houses down a block.. then a dark block..

Now there's the best statement in this thread! There are some things I'm really tired of like house after house of nothing but all clear lights, but I like that better than a dark block!


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My 2 cents,

I have to side with the argument that copying is the greatest form of flattery. Just look at my display and it will come to no surprise who I have copied from. Just in case you don’t recognize the influences I’d like to share a few.

You will see a huge Carson Williams inspiration behind my display with the mini tree formation, peace sign and Happy Holiday sign. Thank You Carson! Three years later I am still giving credit to Carson during my voiceovers for his creative genius.

My snowflakes would not have been possible without the wonderful instruction of Dave Horting and thank you to Jeff and Rhonda Womack for providing the link to his page.

My mega tree has been inspired by to many to list. But I most certainly did watch the videos of Tim Fisher and Logan Moore before building mine

Logan Moore, thank you for the excellent instructions you provided on how to make a “tune to sign”.

My Make-A-Wish donation box decaling was inspired by Richard Holdman (oh, what he made the decals for me) thanks Richard!!!

Don, Marty and rlister I have definitely watched you sequences repeatedly picking up some of your tricks.

Kevin the Demented Elf, thank you for your voice over work, you rock!

Joseph Ayo Dj Santa is rocking the block this year, thank you for the inspiration.

Since my display has first been up and running it has grown and changed but I still tell everyone, that the display would not be possible without Chuck and the people from the Planet Christmas community. That’s why I always say, “I will share anything and everything I have done”. I would love to see a replica of my display in every town!

I say “anyone that puts for the time, effort and dedication, original or not, deserves and gets my respect”.

Merry Christmas,



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Marty Slack wrote:

I stole my bubble machine idea from Walter and Jackie Monkhouse. I stole my mini trees from Chuck Smith. My dancing PC Santa was copied from a design owned by PlanetChristmas. Tim Fischer inspired me to build a Mega Tree. My Virtual Santa came from Darryl Brown. The list goes on and on. We all get ideas from each other.

Amen, Marty. Though I haven't borrowed from you yet, I can stand on the curb and and point out several things from your neighbors' and others' displays:

Richard Holdman: Monique Daniels "Carol of the Bells." Complete with a line of trees. (Okay, my line is of sixteen 5-foot trees and it kinka snakes around half the yard.)

Dave Horting: Manheim Steamroller's "Stille Nacht." Arches chasing each other around the edge of the yard. (Okay, mine are actually swags much like the ones he has hanging from his back fence.)

Dave Horting: SHeDAISY's "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." (Okay, just the music.)

The Lindsay Brothers: TSO's "Wish Listz." Lines of lights on the lawn blinking like piano keys. (Okay, so I stopped short of a bazillion arches over the driveway.)

Jeff Trykowski: TSO's "Christmas Eve Sarajevo." (Okay, just the music.)

Tim Fischer: Where do I begin?

These are the highlights, but there far too many to even try and research them all and give credit. I've seen too many over the last couple years to remember everything. So in the event that it takes me longer to get my web site up than it takes me to finish my display (which I consider a Work in Progress), consider yourselves duly thanked until I can properly credit you.....someday.

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John Pidliskey wrote:

I think you missed the point every one here was trying to express.

We all here share ideas. If it wasn't for Chuck many years ago none of us would be here.

Excellent point John ;)

I have been in this debate before myself and I can tell you there is no right or wrong answer, so I won't get into THAT again! :P

My personal approach (right or wrong):

99.9 percent of folks in my area have not seen ANY of the displays and or sequences done by those on PC.

Most of the homebuilt display element ideas have also not been seen.

IF someone recreates or uses ideas in their display 2 things come to mind 1. Your audience will get to see some of the magic of the PC members that they would otherwise never get to see. 2. It will still take a lot of work and effort to recreate them.

I personally will take credit for building or doing it, however I always make sure to mention that I have recieved help, ideas, sequences from a great group of people that share my hobby and have been doing it longer than I.

I always give personal props even if I have modified it.

(I would post personal thanks, but THAT list would be enormous so, THANK YOU to all that have helped me one way or another... you know who you are and I REALLY do appreciate it!)

I also agree that ANY display is better than none in my book! :)

Even if everything is "copied" in someones display, they will most likely "take it to the next level" and feel the pride in doing something unique in the years following. Heck they might come up with the next "cool thing" if they catch the bug and stay in the hobby!

I tip my hat to ALL who do a display... big, small, static, synced, etc.

Lets help brighten someones holiday!

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I am flattered that I was mentioned here. Thanks you guys!

As for the plans & info, I really need to get busy and finish up some more when I get a minute:laughing:.

Thats what this place is all about! Sharing basic ideas and each person interpreting and evolving that idea into something that works in their display.

I've been influenced my many here and I'm getting ideas even now for next season (as it's getting very close to an end already, snif, snif). If it weren't for Chuckand Dan, I don't know if I'd even be decorating anymore. They gave me the tools necessary to fulfill things I'd only dreamt about.

Look at the awesome new ideas from Ron Lister and Steve Bang recently. They've got me thinking a lot for '08....

Happy Lighting!!!!

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  • 11 months later...

Guess what folks? The fact that Marty's display was mentioned at all in any of these threads gives him credit. Marty shares his ideas and sequences on his website, which I personally am thankful for. He taught me what Coroplast was, the mini-trees he uses, etc. His website is amazing and frankly, I don't think he would share it with us if he was extremely worried about people copying. Planet Christmas was designed for people to share ideas and thoughts. Note: Will PLUS 2009 just be about a bunch of people bragging about their displays and not wanting people to know how they did it? I'm pretty certain it will be about sharing ideas and techniques, etc. I know there is always a little competitive edge that goes along with displays and that is great, but let's not forget why we do this.....TO SHARE IT WITH PEOPLE! What good is what we do if people can't understand it and enjoy it? Merry Christmas everyone! I think it is kind of cool that since not everyone can see Marty's display (although if they turn on the freakin' TV they will see it, LOL), somebody has been able to show other parts of the world a glimpse of what it is like. I'm fortunate enough to be less than 40 miles from it and will be there this weekend. Thank you Marty for sharing with us, and thanks to everyone for the hard work on their displays as it makes the world a better place this time of year!!!


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How many ideas can you think of that somebody else has not done already?

We haven't even scratched the surface. Someone will always come up with something totally new or a whole new twist on an existing idea.

I think there are lot's of new ideas sitting in the minds of PC members waiting to become reality.

I know I have a few,if I only had the technical ability to match my imagination and an ready supply of cash I'd be all set.

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I personally don't care if anybody copies anything I have done which isn't saying much. Many people also encourage it. I posted my sequences and songs from last year much like what Marty did and I have seen many people use the Sequences and the Music, or just the music which I spent many hours editing to get just right.

[snip]If somebody from another state copied it and was able to bring Joy to others using the same element that I used. Great!

I think all Christmas Displays should be Open Source! :]

If you create something "cool" be prepared for people to copy it.

2009 will be my 1st sequenced display. My first job was (is) to learn how it all works. It is significant to me that the best of the best displays are put on by people who are so generous with their time and talents. Studying Richard's sequences has been nothing less than a masterclass in technique.

I hope that when I know enough to build something original that someone else thinks it's cool enough to want to copy it. I second the "open source" concept. Our goal here should not be to pad our own egos (and power bills). We should be the Wizards of Winter... The ones who bring the magic of the season alive.

So, to Richard and Marty and RJ and all those who freely share their magic -- Thank You!

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As creators/designers of the Leaping Light Arches, Kevin and I are very proud that so many people have taken to them and added them to their Christmas Light displays. We're seeing them all over Youtube, even in store dispalys. I'm sure Marty probably feels the same.

Ken Maxwell

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Hello Gstarr, I live in New Tampa and am running 128 channels with 32000 lights. If you want to bring your wife over, let me know and I will give you the address. We have had over 700 people come and have collected over 2000 dollars for a family that lost there 1 and 1/2 year old. Their is also another member on here that lives 3 miles from me that has a very nice setup as well and he is also using leds which look amazing. My show runs for 30 minutes and it includes a mega tree. Sorry you upset the wife, but I bet she wasnt as upset as mine when she calculated how much my setup cost.


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