(Yeah, I know it’s ‘Intellectual Property,’ try and follow me anyway)
So, obviously, I’m really glad that I’ve broken through this barrier and have started uploading things to the internet. It’s a great platform to have access to and I can start getting my work out there, and this and that and the other. There’s a lot of good things that are gradually revealing themselves to me as a result of starting this website – the main one being that people are liking my shit! It’s a wonder to me, I mean: don’t stop, by all means, but also: stooooop! Ha! How confusing. I was quite happy standing on this metaphorical soap box thinking that no-one was listening to my nonsense, but now that I know people are paying attention… jeez, put the pressure on.
Anyway, I digress.
It’s great that folks are looking at my scribbles, but the topic of intellectual property has been brought to the forefront of my mind as a result.
Back when I first started writing – in that uber nerdy chrysalis of word-based RPGs – I kind of accepted that my writing would be easy to rip off, if someone was that way inclined (assholes!). It wasn’t an issue at that juncture, because I never imagined that I would be in the position I am now – when my writing might actually be the key to my livelihood. Now that I’m uploading work of my own, however, I’m concerned by how easy it is for people to click a link, hit ‘copy and paste,’ change a few words, and then masquerade my work beneath their own banner.
First up, you leeches, there’s better work out there! Go plagiarise someone with some cred!
It happens a lot in the Film Industry, that much I know from anecdotes, and there’s not really much you can do to stop it. Ultimately, an IP thief doesn’t have to do much to throw up some doubt as to who had the original idea, and then you’ll be struggling to find a lawyer who can win that case for you. I asked my father about it (who works for a tactfully nameless London-based law firm), and his face started creasing in all the wrong places. ‘There’s very little you can do, just make sure it’s your own work’ was the brunt of his message, though I think he mistook my interest in the matter for me being on the receiving end of IP lawsuits.
The point of this open letter, which is mostly just me thinking out loud, was to conclude with a message to my readers, if any of you are out there. Probably pointlessly, too, as I’m hoping that the most of you are unconcerned with plagiarism in this manner.
The message is: Please do not copy my work. Please? Please do your own, tap into that vein of creativity that’s pulsing somewhere in your neck, open it up and bleed on the keyboard like the rest of us starving artistes. It’s hard and you feel naked for it, but it’s honest and it’s the honourable way to do things and, honestly, that’s a dying way of life. Be old fashioned! Be noble and shit! Be not-the-kind-of-person-that-steals-my-hard-work! Be awesome and be safe, much love!