Copy Cat - I've seen it happen way too often, and even been the victim of it myself. I would like to think that most people do not WANT to be a copy cat, but I've seen some who think its just fine to do. Sadly, it seems to becoming a larger problem in the mixed media arts and crafts world. Recently a good friend taught a class at a major art retreat and was surprised to see one of her students teaching her EXACT class less then a couple months later. The class had the same wording, the same skills offered and nearly the same name. Not cool. It's OK to take a class, then go home and use those skills you've learned along with your own voice to create something new. Its not OK to take it and think "oh I can teach this JUST like this to others now".
Also I know not every copy cat situation is intentional. Sometimes you take a class and are SO enamored with it you go home and keep making stuff just as you learned in class. Sadly we forget we can look at those skills learned in the class with our own eyes, add our own touches and make something uniquely us. We all have unique skill sets, experiences and artistic vision, there's no NEED to be a copycat. I think people do it because of fear-fear that their own work isn't good or strong enough. It's insecurity trying to hide behind someone else's hard work. There's only one YOU on this planet, make your own mark on the world.
Today, Rice has an eloquent and informative post about this on the Create Mixed Media Blog. I encourage you all to read and share. Rice sums it up beautifully in the last paragraph with the statement "we’re all part of a wonderful community, built on sharing ideas and inspiration, and that community depends on everyone, from instructors to students, editors to authors, artists to organizers, doing what they already know is the right thing to do."