I've entered a competition on a forum, but did hesitate before entering the piece as some of the components were designed by someone else - would it be ethical to enter the piece? Ethics in beading are always a hot topic and are often a touchy subject too. I've been asked several times for permission to make my designs to sell - it's wonderful to be asked and I've not said no yet, but the crux of the point is asking.
In my case, the designer in question is that clever beady lady Diane Fitzgerald and some of the flowers I made were from her Beaded Garden book. Having sent her an email explaining the position and attaching a photo of the piece, she sent a lovely reply encouraging me to submit the work, for which I'm most grateful.
The moral of the story is to ask - it's correct, ethical and you'll get to touch base with another beady person! I find most people involved in beading extremely encouraging, generous and helpful and maintaining ethics is core to maintaining these good relationships.
Oooh, nearly forgot, here's the piece in question - One Wet Summer!