What Does It Mean To ‘Steal’?

Now, we are all adults.

I should not have to remind you what stealing is, and how detrimental it is. Especially, in matters of intellectual property.

Stealing is taking something from someone that is not yours.

Here at JBHarris Writing Services, I want to add to this definition as I expand. Theft/Stealing:

1.) is taking an idea, a concept, even a story that is not yours; that you did not contribute to;

2.) is taking an idea, concept, idea and erasing any mention of the artist you were inspired by; taking this concept and making it your own.

3.) is assuming credit, honor, accolades for a work you did not write, influence or create.

Now, that we have this definition firm and expanded, let me explain how detrimental it is to steal someone’s intellectual property. It is already stressful to begin a work; follow the process to complete that work; only to have someone admire it–and steal it. Not because they have no talent (in some cases), they have no desire to create!

As I have said before, writing is one of those profession which is fostered nd grown by respect and merit. You cannot call yourself a writer just take another writer’s work! You cannot claim work you did not write as your own!

Pro-tip: You can be sued for the theft of intellectual property.

In legal circles, this is called copyright infringement. One of the most prominent cases of this is Sophia Stewart. I invite you to read the 20-year saga she endured while watching her work be stolen, and returned to her.

Stealing work from a writer, is more than a lazy act. It is the taking of time, talent, energy or effort. It is a piracy of imagination!

As a writer: whether it is a book report, an academic essay, or dissertation, you cannot take a work you did not write to claim it as yours. If you decide to do this, if you decide that taking words you didn’t write, and attach your name? Any power or talent that you have to create on your own is nullified. It will be under constant suspicion and scrutiny.

Stealing is not honoring the writer–it is jeopardizing that writer’s work! But a thieving writer is the worst type! They are neither to be trusted nor taken seriously. A writer that will not lean on, develop their own talent, is a writer whom should not be allowed to siphon from either attributes of another writer whom does.

Protecting The Work: Integrity In Chosing Beta Readers

The most important thing for Beta Readers is not the reading.

No, it’s not a joke.

Yes, I’m serious.

The most important thing for a Beta Reader is not to steal your work. Even if it’s a rough draft.

In choosing your Beta Readers, the best advice is to keep your number small and composed of people you trust. It also doesn’t hurt to have your Beta Readers sign a contract that dictates not to share/plagiarize the work you show them.

Intellectual property is still property! It needs to be protected to the fullest extent of the law.

Take pride in your work! Protect it.

There is nothing worse than having your work stolen by the very people you believed you would trust with it.

[image from ad-Martin.com]