Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Entitlement :Designs DriveWays and Attitudes

I've finally figured it out! The answer to all our woes, all our problems stem from entitlement. Well ok maybe not, but it does fit in with todays blog post.

I added a couple of our area news stations to my FB, it seems to be the fastest way to get severe weather info. They update their status's with the relevant info faster than they get it aired on tv. The problem is they also offer headline stories before fleshing out the details. The other day one of the stations offered up the story of a land owner having shot a cell tower worker - less than a paragraph of info, no facts to speak of. The people jumped on it ready to string this guy up without a single fact as to what happened. It was their right to see this guy punished so it doesn't breed more of the same behavior. He was on his own property, didn't know they were there, and shot one. These were the only facts provided and yet it was unforgivable he acted in this way. I don't know what happened that lead up to the shooting, maybe he was wrong, maybe he was right but when did it become wrong to protect yourself on your own property?

One of my biggest gripes is GPS and their constantly sending people up my driveway. For some unknown reason the fact GPS sent them seems to give them a sense of entitlement. It sends the cell tower people up my driveway just about every other month. They have caused more damage to my driveway driving as if they were Mario Andretti, rutting up freshly graded land, run over barrels, cut my fences, made my driveway inaccessible to our own vehicles and seem to generally believe because they need to be at that cell tower on the neighbor's property it's ok to act as if they own mine. Once you top the hill and find a fence, the driveway turns to reveal my house. It's pretty obvious at that moment GPS lied. There's a very generous turnaround right there, do people use it? Noooo they continue to drive around my house. Cell tower people, termite services, lawn services and cable people, even folks looking for cemeteries - we actually had a cable tv installer, who when told to get out of our back yard, told my hubs he had a bad attitude! We don't have cable nor do they have any of their cables crossing our property, so he had no standing to be there. What would he have done if we were in his backyard uninvited and unannounced? Offered lemonade? I think not! I think he'd have had the gun out and we'd have another story like the above. GPS does not entitle you to drive into my backyard, run over my cat, look in my windows or be on my property that is clearly marked no trespassing. (Yes all the above has happened, I no longer have a gate because it's been driven through while it was closed so many times. And yes, I have contacted Navteq, the mapping provider, they refuse to correct their info, even though their satellite image clearly shows my driveway ends at my house.)

So what does GPS gone wrong and shot cell tower people have to do with jewelry designs? Well it's the whole entitlement issue. I've been making jewelry for a lot of years. I bought my first set of pliers at 16. I learned by imitating or making my own versions of the pieces I liked and crafting the jewelry I couldn't find otherwise. I, like you, have grown up with the saying "Imitation is the Sincerest form of Flattery" Knowing this, when friends asked if they could borrow an idea or hearing I had inspired someone, was a real ego boost. Something we all need, but when you start finding your designs in magazines and around the web, written up as tutorials with your "friends" names on them, it crosses a line. Copy Right has now entered the picture and my "friend" now owns the copy right to my design - meaning if I use my own design and call it mine, I could get in trouble! We're no longer talking flattery here. This sense of entitlement, I like it, I want it, it's mine, and you can't stop me is wrong. It's stealing for a profit - with no intent to return it - Grand Larceny. Look it up, that's the definition. Oh but it's an idea, not tangible. That's why they created copy right. Something we artists earn the moment we create. When you steal the design, call it your own, and put your own copy right on it you've not only stolen the design you're stealing my right to choose what to do with it. What if it was a One Of A Kind gift? Suddenly I have the only one - turns into being sold across the country by countless burgeoning jewelers. That's not cool! What if I was in the process of writing the tutorial myself? Now you've stolen my income source. What does that say about you? That you treat your friends and acquaintances this way.

Some of you remember the anguish I felt when I first discovered that design in the magazine. That kicked in the teeth and punched in the stomach, reeling in disbelief that a friend would do this to me. No one ever talks about this side of it, they only talk of the legalities, because those who feel entitled don't care about the hurt they cause, only whether they can get away with it legally. You may be asking why bring it up now? Well, it took this long to find the words to express myself without fits of anger or tears of pain. It also seems I have more "entitled friends", and more designs floating around magazines and the web, where will it stop if I don't say something? I don't feel the need to out them at this point, they know who they are, and I know.

I've decided, it might be time to start submitting my designs myself. Since they seem to be getting submitted anyway, they might as well come with my name on them :) Now.........what to submit?

Til next time!

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