Thursday, July 31, 2014

Arrr...Here There Be Pirates

I may be aging myself, but Napster was the big thing when I was a senior in high school.  I had songs on my list that I still haven't been able to find since (Marilyn Monroe's version of Santa Baby to start).  It never occurred to me that what I was doing was wrong.  The word piracy wasn't applied to the website until after I was in college.  

Napster was the first big website (at least as far as I was aware) that did 'file-sharing'.  As the internet has gotten progressively bigger so have piracy issues.  From music to movies and now to books.

I'll admit I'm not a big enough deal for this to have affected me personally yet (though I did find a couple copies of my book for sale on Amazon for over $500....).  The point is that no wants to be stolen from.  Whether you're an engineer who gets his idea hijacked by a superior or even a coworker just to watch them get a promotion from it, or a waitress who gets stiffed by the overly demanding table you slaved over.  The point is that we all deserve to get paid for our work.

I've dealt with people not wanting to pay for my work before.  There is a reason I USED to be a professional seamstress.  Now I see that this extends to most creative fields.  How do you protect intellectual property?

It's a question people are finding it hard to answer.  I've seen people for and against (by the way, just to make it clear, I'm adamantly against it despite my questionable association in high school).  My biggest issue with the people for it are the ones who say to we should just accept it because it's here to stay.  That we should just concentrate on selling merchandise because it's harder to steal.  You can read the article here if you'd like.

I'm sorry, but unless you are a NYT bestselling author with a movie/tv show there is no related merchandise.  Our books are our merchandise.  And believe me when I say we get paid pennies for the work we do!  Besides all the writing and the editing, there is marketing.  

Okay, so what can we as honest citizens do about this?  Click here for a great article about this.  There are always those people who feel entitled to whatever they want but sometimes people don't even realize what they're doing is wrong.  It's up to us to educate them.

Alright, rant over!  ;)

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