Balancing the Intellectual Property (IP) Scale
In 2011, I wrote an article for Motor Magazine titled, Intellectual Property & Your Shop. I just reread it and describe it a rather condensed overview of the world of IP.
I felt compelled to research this topic and write about it for many reasons. Stories I have heard of from around the industry and some that I have been personally involved in.
Here is one from about 2005 that helped to shape my thinking about this topic: An enterprising individual bought a video and book and decided to copy it and sell it on ebay.
My wife Jacqueline, a lawyer who is in a courtroom all week, and I had a lengthy debate. My analysis was this person just did not think it through and was excited about starting his eBay store. Jacqueline says, “He knew what he was doing”. Thinking back, I believe we were both right. In this case, his excitement of starting the store skewed the balance of his decision making scale.
I have been privy to many issues over the years, and I can say for sure, that many of the cases were simply good folks with good intention who just didn’t know enough about this topic. I have certainly worn these shoes. I bet most of us have. Hopefully this article will help to bring awareness to this important topic.
Jorge, I remember you and I being together at one of the Training expo's and you talking about this subject, It was about 6 months later that you actually had it out in print. I can not agree more on your thoughts. There are many times that I believe most people just don't realize the amount of time invested in research and writing technical information. One of my Mandatory request to any new instructor that started at the Post-Secondary school I taught for over a 21 year period was to read and sign a copy of the article you wrote on this subject. For me personally, this was a sore spot. Many years ago I was taught by my Mentor ( Tom McKenna ), Jerry "G" Trulia, Jim Halderman and many more to NEVER use another's material without giving credit to the author. As many know, Myself and a lot of others will give copies of presentations to attendees from time to time, specially at Instructor conferences like NACAT, I just always asked that the instructor give credit and respect the time spent.
there was an incident once where a Friend contacted me and suggested that I look at a link to a website that he attached, after opening the link and going through the technician's On-Line store, I saw a powerpoint on the advantages and Proper use of a particular , very popular Scan Tool. I had spent many hours researching and testing with this scan tool, after the project was completed, I went around the country presenting this information in order for the technicians to be more proficient using the equipment. It was very common for me to be asked at the end of the presentation if the attendee would be able to get a copy. I would always comply but asked that they respect my time and material. The link I received from my friend had that presentation for sale on his "on-Line" store with the Cover slide and the last slide with my Thanks to my Mentor replaced with 2 slides inserted by that tech ?????? So once again, Jorge THANK YOU for that article.
thanks for your thoughts and sharing your story. I recall your telling me about the copied presentation incident. And thanks about mentioning the amount of work that can go into a presentation and the same for an article, a case study, etc. Often a huge hidden value that is often overlooked and not considered.
Regarding sharing your presentations, you might want to look into adding a Creative Commons Licensing (CC) scheme. creativecommons.org/licenses and perhaps this is the one you would want to use creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc… . If you are okay with folks building on your work, you could also pick a licensing scheme that includes that as well. Whichever CC scheme you might use, I think it would offer a more offcial declaration of your desires.
Again, thanks much Jim!
Very thorough article and I apologize, I’m guilty of failing to have read that 7 years ago! In regards to the points raised, I suspect (know) that there are violations abundant around us. One important item that wasn’t raised, was how violations trickle down and affect us all. This is one thing that most are simply not aware of. When my wife and I were first married and shopping for furnishings for our first apartment, her father advised us to beware of pricing and supplied us with the “if it’s too good to be true...” statement. Well I see that happening around us within the industry and the problem I see is that most simply don’t see what’s happening. I know that we’ve talked privately about this challenge and honestly, I don’t think that we’ll see a solution in our lifetime. However, if we were going to change the culture, where would we start?