The law is the law. People much smarter than I will ever be spend their entire lives writing, interpreting, and enforcing it. Not only does breaking the law make for a very bad day, it is cost prohibitive for the majority of people. Fines, penalties, and attorney fees usually insure most laws are obeyed. (This is more of a budgetary restriction than respect for the law.)
Copyright infringement is a hot topic, but I must admit the whole issue never even occurred to me until recently. There is a whole page dedicated to it in every book I have ever read (the copyright page, duh) and yet I never paid any attention to it. When I read stories to our kids, I never once read to them the page that said we should not steal the story or in any way make up alternate dialog or endings and tell a different version of the story to anyone.
Surprisingly we never received a call from their school saying they had done such a thing and were charging every child on the playground a nickel to listen.
My own book contains the following statement:
[Summoning The Strength is a work of fiction. Characters, dialogue, and experiences are products of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Events recorded in human history, actual locales on planet earth, real institution, business, person, and product names are mentioned in an entirely fictional context. Don’t be litigious. Please drink responsibly. Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious health risks. Texting while driving is just plain stupid. Have your pets spayed or neutered. All rights reserved. No portion of the cover or contents may be used for evil purposes. All other purposes require the author’s written consent. Summoning The Strength Briggs & Briggs Copyright © 2011 by Stephanie Briggs Cover photo and design by Stephanie Briggs ISBN & Printed in the USA]How many people do you suppose will ever realize that I put totally unrelated, although heartfelt and informative, statements on the copyright page of my book? I suspect the whole SOPA/PIPA issue will end up like most other laws of its kind, where prosecuting criminal intent will consume a large portion of resources resulting in average people paying for it in one way or another. So I guess it’s a good thing I am putting my meager two cents worth of creativity out there before censorship wallops citizenship. Not to worry, no one knows who I am. (I don’t have a QR code tattooed on my person.)
Yes, I believe rock stars and self-help gurus should get their due when they come up with an original thought. (When is the last time that happened?) I believe intellectual property rights should be respected. Likewise I believe public school teachers share their intellectual property to develop creative lesson plans that will engage students. Many also devote personal time and often their own money to teach our children without receiving acknowledgment or proper compensation. (Children, by the way, who know much more about bootlegs and peg-legs than any of us old analog swashbucklers will ever know.)
Music used here is always purchased. (I know, so what I can string together some pictures and create a music montage, big deal.) Hey, it’s better than me driving down the road texting my latest random thought, don’t ya think?