There are only a handful of completely original artists in western Civ. Chopin, Picasso, Guesualdo, Faulkner, Cummings, Hendrix... to name a few. Most artists have their influences. Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach... they all had influences. Even though they had influences they sounded like themselves. But today, more than any other time in the history of art, the world is filled with copycats and thieves. The information age is partly to blame for this. Worlds just melt into each other and people steal without a second thought. This is just as true in the CCM industry I am finding.
If you are an artist, and you hear something cool, don’t steal it. If you hear Sufjan Stevens putting woodwinds and horns on his album, don't put woodwinds and horns on your album because you think it is cool. Now if you have always written for woodwinds and strings, or you are inspired by those things, go right ahead. But take a gander at Sufjan's bio. He was a woodwind player for crying out loud. It makes sense that that is a part of his vocabulary. Find your own voice. Go listen to Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah. Listen to what that guy did with just his voice and an electric guitar. Talk about heartbreakingly beautiful and individual.
In the end, it is the individual that wins out. If you say something individual with your heart and it can somehow speak through any instrumentation, it will have a staying power that no blatant thief can imitate.
Influences are fine. Creating a knock-off sound world because you want that world, believing you can't come up with something better, is wrong.
If you are considering jacking an idea from someone else, don't do it. Wait till you think of something on your own, and if you do take the idea, for crying out loud, pay homage by giving some credit. Or at least make it obvious you are paying homage.