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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Copyrights and Such

Long ago and far away, I had a home-based business selling my original architectural needlepoint designs, which I put up as kits complete with hand-painted canvas and Paternayan Persian yarn.  After a few years, I'd built up quite a nice little clientele. 

One lady, who was a regular customer, once confided in me a coup she was particularly proud of:  She had purchased a stitchery kit from a large department store—solely for its design.  She then xeroxed the pattern and returned the kit to the store for a complete refund. 

Basically, she stole the design.

And bragged about it.

It amazes me how otherwise honest people, who would never steal material goods, can justify to themselves the stealing of intellectual property.  Because make no mistake about it, that's what a design (or a book, or a song) is:  intellectual property.  Intelligence, if you will.  Like software.

Now, I ask you, why should a designer put in the sometimes hundreds of hours it takes to develop and transcribe an original design . . . for free?  If everyone cheated in the manner that "lady" did, how many designers—or artists, or composers—would be left?  We'd all starve to death.


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