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Bottle-Lamp vs. Householdhacker

The Bottle Lamp video battle and how it started.

If you have ever put anything on the Internet you will soon come to realize that it’s anybody’s material that they can do with at their own leisure. Music, art, and even ideas are fair game. I’ve heard of Napster and listened to artists complain for years about copyright infringement and really never gave it a second thought. It wasn’t anything that concerned myself. That was until an idea came along that was soon taken over.

After taking a series of photographs while I was making a Jack Daniels bottle lamp, Silke put them together in a series and added text to create a video “How to make a Jack Daniels bottle lamp”. This video seemed more stream lined coming in at 1 minute and 15 seconds as opposed to the 10 minute video we made last year. The combination of still images and text presented the information to create a bottle lamp.

Our Bottle Lamp video was informative and straight to the point.

Jack Daniel's Bottle Lamp Making Video

It wasn’t long and we had started to get comments on the video that it seemed similar to another one on YouTube. Curious, we went to check it out. Using a Jack Daniels bottle, the video went on to explain how to make a table lamp using a bottle lamp kit and a drill press to create the hole in the back of the bottle. They’re video was simply titled “How to make a Bottle Lamp”.

The HouseholdHacker video

The HouseholdHacker video

There are a lot of bottle lamps for sale out there. When I say this I don’t just mean the Internet. If you go to a flea market on the weekend you’ll come across someone selling a whole table full of bottles with Christmas lights shoved in them and even some bottles that are melted down to resemble a cutting board. So to stand out from the crowd you have to add a little something extra to take yours a step above the rest.

Back to the Jack Daniels lamp. What Bottle-Lamp had done was add gold marble fill to the bottle to make it unique. The marbles gave weight to the empty bottle and gave it stability which it needed because of the added weight the lamp shade put on the top. It also served as a way to conceal the electrical cord inside. The end result was that it ended up looking like a replica of the bottles original content.

Watching the HouseholdHacker video and listening to them explain this technique in their video was mind blowing to say the least. It didn’t seem possible that someone had so blatantly taken over our idea. The icing on the cake was that they opted to give the bottle away at the end.

O.K. I was mad at first. It seemed unfair and I felt cheated. Not only had they taken the idea but they had somehow managed to get almost 100,000 hits within the first day of uploading it. Not to be outdone we quickly put together another video with a Captain Morgan Lamp that I had made previously. The video showcased the lamp and went on to explain that I was giving it away. All you had to do was visit the Bottle-Lamp site.

The Jack Daniels video above had nowhere near the traffic that the HouseholdHacker saw and I reluctantly admitted defeat.

Not only where they more capable of generating a large amount of viewers, but at the end of the day they just had a better video. The video was polished and I have to admit I chuckled when they showed the guy rolling out of bed because he chose to empty the contents the night before.

I began to think about why we had put it out on the Internet in the first place. Isn’t the Internet about sharing ideas and thoughts? We shared an idea and they took it and ramped it up to the next level.

If we didn’t want it to be taken away from us we never should have put it out there in the first place. With my new attitude in check I’m actually looking at the whole experience in a new light. We can collectively make things better as a group rather then as a single entity.

Do you have a similar experience you’d like to share? Maybe you would like to comment on this one. Please do so below.

We love to get feedback from our readers,

Nick and Silke

6 Responses to Bottle-Lamp vs. Householdhacker

  • Lamps are a big part of our everyday life. Whether you are at home chilling and reading a good book or at your office looking over some papers, lamps make.recycled glassware

  • Evan61,
    Thanks for stopping by. I checked out your Etsy store and found some really interesting pieces there. I have always wanted to learn how to cut glass. The drilling process has been mastered and it’s time to try something new. Any pointers that you would like to share?

    • Just a little follow up. I’ve had success with bottle glass cutting and a few of the projects turned out quite nice.

      • I was just informed by an attorney from Jack Daniels that it’s illegal to make and sell lamps from their empty bottles. They claim trademark infringement. I have an ebay store and after JD complained to ebay about my lamp, ebay pulled the listings and “punished” me by restricting my account for 7 days. According to JD you are NOT free to do as you please with their empty bottles. They suggest recycling, according to them you can’t upcycle any bottle that still has the label on it. If anyone would like to see the email I received and a copy of the “upcycle policy” I received from them I would be happy to provide you with it. there are hundreds for sale on the internet, my question is why was I singled out and is there any way to take on this giant company? It’s not like I was copying anything and my listings clearly stated “made from empty bottles”. Having my ebay account has hurt me financially. Any lawyers in the mood to sue JD? Is this legal?

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  • Amazing! I was at a vendor event this past weekend and saw the same very thing done. I was wondering if you have the information to report this vendor. I have no problem complaining about that myself. Any info you could give me would be helpful. Thank you!


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