I recently received an e-mail that perturbed me. In reply to my e-mail releasing the right to re-post an article from SurvivalBlog, a gent (who shall remain nameless) mentioned:
“Personally, I don’t believe in copyrights because nobody can truly own ideas, thoughts or words…”
To which, I replied:
Do you really believe that? Let me politely set you straight: When I write a novel, that is my intellectual property. Each book that I write represents the fruit of my intellect, and is the end result of thousands of hours of my work.
Without a limited-term copyright, strangers could rob me of part or all of the livelihood that my books generate. Writing is not just a hobby for me. My novels are in fact my main source of income. I cannot feed my family on just kind thoughts and repeated verses of Kumbaya!
Further, what good is my current contract with Simon & Schuster to write two novels over the course of 25 months, if anyone could immediately circulate pirated copies (in either hard copy or soft copy), just after they are released?
My intellectual property is just as much “mine” as the land that I own and live on–the same land where I grow my garden and where I raise my cattle. In essence, I look at book pirates the same way as I do cattle thieves.
You really think that I cannot hold the right to call my written works “mine”, just because they are books, rather than your car, your house, your invention, or your factory? Property is property, regardless!