Beanery Online Literary Magazine

March 11, 2008

COPYRIGHTS GET NO RESPECT!

—written by Norma Leary 

Rodney Dangerfield and copyrights have problems getting respect. There are horrid hordes of people helping themselves to any copyrighted material a copy machine can handle.

Some of the worst offenders reside in our supposed citadels of honesty: churches, schools, libraries and offices.

The copying person wouldn’t dream of invading a home and stealing a silver tea set, yet will take another’s artistic endeavors without a wallop of self-flagellation. Quite often there’s a second theft being committed by unauthorized use of the copy machine’s ink, paper and electric.

In spite of the explanation, “Reproduction of this publication without permission of the copyright owner is a criminal offense subject to prosecution,” there are those believing that having bought the book, music or photograph, it’s their’s to do with what they wish. Externally it is, internally it isn’t, if it bears a copyright notice.

Except for the time involved, getting permission to copy isn’t all that difficult. A publisher may allow copying in return for a credit line, and/or, a small royalty fee, depending on what’s to be done with the material.

How many wonderful future works we may have lost because the talented were so copy-stolen they were forced into other work to earn a living. Copy pilfering robs the creator, the publisher, artists, typesetters, press operators, paper companies, etc.—everyone connected to getting a published piece on the market.

Short of authors, composers, whomever, acting as their own copyright police (it has happened with infringers being sued for large amounts of money), sensible reproaches wither as fast as the copy machine ruffles out copies. Choir director copiers claim the lift anthems because of limited music budgets. Actually, if copying costs were tallied, the copies might not be such a bargain.

A few years ago, some publishers got together and, for a fee paid in advance, allowed customers to make additional copies of the cant amount of originals purchased. Sort of the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” defense tactic fraught with the fragile notion that it’s better to earn a little than nothing whatsoever.

There’s an amazing, or feigned, amount of ignorance about the meaning of “copyright.” Maybe it’s a borderline oxymoron suggesting that the notice should read, “copywrong.”
The Beanery Writers Group extends birthday wishes to Norma Leary, who turns 82 on March 12. Have a wonderful day, Norma!

This excerpt from page seven in the book For God’s Sake, posted with the permission of the author, Norma Leary. For her brief bio, click on NORMA

Additional interesting posts located in the Beanery Online Literary Magazine or at www.carolyncholland.com can be read by clicking on the following:

A DOG FOR ALL SEASONS

THE CAT WITH THE CALICO TAIL

TIME TO GO

SOCKATORY

WHAT IF YOU HAVE A BUG IN YOUR EAR…?

LOSS AND LOVE

SHE WAS OLD NOW

AMERICA’S FIRST MANNED HOT AIR BALLOON

ALEXANDRIA, D. C. (Virginia) IN THE 1790s

LIZZIE BORDEN—A REENACTMENT

BORING FOOD Lent Devotion #37

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