After the post last week about “inspiration” and copyright infringement, a YouTube video called “Copying is not Theft” was brought to my attention.

The video contends that “copying just means there is more to go around, one for you and one for me”. I respectfully DISAGREE!

[youtube IeTybKL1pM4]

The comments are equally as upsetting – here are a few:

Copying physical products I think is the only time there is something wrong with it, because it’s stealing profit from the inventor. It’s deliberate misleading of customers who actually pay for physical objects. However copying something in the software world is positive for companies. Why? because if you made a copy of it, I say 99% of you were never going buy it anyways. Never Ever. So the only thing that was gained, was popularity of the company, attracting people who will pay for it.

I disagree.  People stealing software doesn’t attract new customers.  There is a definite break in logic to help justify this person’s actions.

This person agrees with me and replied to the above comment:

Are you saying that anyone who writes code is essentially a slave to the world, and deserves no compensation for what they make? What you’re talking about is just a way to confuse appropriation and inspiration with excuses for piracy.

This person just confuses the heck out of me and I question the education system in whatever country they live in…

you cant steal code, only copy it – that’s what the video is trying to say

Part of the reason there is so much innovation in the United States is because we DO have intellectual property law.

Why would you want to spend your time and energy creating software, systems or ART if it was considered perfectly fine for people to copy it?  Just because it doesn’t fit in a box doesn’t mean it has no value.  I make a living with my art and the pixels created with it (all of our art is digital before it lands on a product that fits in a box) – and I’D APPRECIATE IT if my hard work and effort wasn’t demeaned and devalued.

One lesson I’ve re-learned from this is that many people think that just because they see something on YouTube that it’s true.  Anyone can post anything on YouTube.  Or on a blog. Or anywhere.

The link to this video was actually tweeted by an artist. An artist interested in art licensing.  This really leaves me scratching my head because it goes against the whole concept of licensing.  Our contracts often include that we register our work with the Library of Congress and that we will enforce the protection or at least assist if the manufacturer wants to go after an infringer.  If you really believe that copying is ok, I’m thinking this isn’t the business for you.

SO… I leave it to you to weigh in.  What do you think?

– Tara Reed