Authors Have a Duty to Assert Their Copyrights

by : Jon Fischer

I am speaking to every "author" out there. Not just authors of articles and books, but also authors of web sites, programs, photographs, graphic design. I am speaking of authors expansively as defined under the Copyright Laws. I am speaking to the creators of original works of authorship that are placed in a tangible medium of expression.

My message to all of you; all of us is: we each have a duty to each other to come down hard on people who steal our work online.

It is no secret that theft is rampant on the Internet. It is happening every day. It happens to each of us who have a strong web presence and create original content eventually. If it has not yet happened to you, it will. Your time will come.

As authors we work very hard to create. It is our creativity that we are putting out there. It is our late nights. It is our idea that becomes a reality.

When that idea is stolen and appropriated by someone else we do, and we should, feel violated. I think back to an incident that happened when I was in college; longer ago that I care to remember. I was away for the weekend and when I returned my apartment had been broken into and my stereo (the prized possession of a college student) and some other items had been stolen. I will never forget that feeling of being violated.

Now fast forward to today. After working very hard for several years to create a business by creating my own original technology legal documents and marketing them on the Internet, I have found that another company is selling my documents online, fully intact without revision and competing with me. Again, I feel violated. And I am angry. I know who these people are and I am going after them.

There seems to be a large part of the Internet community that seems to think that it is just fine to steal someone else's hard work and then profit off it. That is why I say that everyone out there who has put there blood, sweat and tears into playing by the rules and creating their own original content needs to come down hard on people who violate their rights. Do this for yourself, but also do this for all of us. Do this so that group of people who would steal the work of someone else are stopped. Do it so that the message finally gets through, so the stories of people paying up for their actions get circulated. So it to help clean up the Internet from these dishonest people and businesses.

Sometimes they say that the biggest events in life are the biggest motivators. Obviously from my articles on this topic readers will be able to detect that I have been deeply affected by this theft of my work. It is pretty transparent.

I hope that this article inspires someone who may be just found out that someone else is using their work without permission to take strong action against them. Stealing your material is theft, plain and simple.