Monticolae (Mountain Men)

I am working up a logo for a LLC me and a friend are starting, it's a minor logo it's really not going to go on much just setting it up in the case of a lawsuit (nothing shady) just protecting ourselves/assets. The name (my friend came up with) is Monticolae meaning "Mountain Men".

I am not super far along in developing the "look of our logo" but I knew I wanted to have it a similar feel to Brutal Brands by Seriousron:

http://dribbble.com/shots/109316-Brutal-Brands

This is probably the best logo I have seen in 5 years, seriously awesome.

Here is the question and I think it brings up a good one, yes, I was heavily influenced by it but is it too close to use? I wanted to ask and see the design communities opinion. There are a lot of negative space designs out there but I wanted the design communities viewpoint on the issue.

If you see something you really like your natural inkling is to go in that direction when is that "direction" considered "biting" or "ripping off" someone elses work? Opinions greatly appreciated.

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