Is there any point in being original if others just infringe your copyright and make money from your hard work ?

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  • This question may have been posted in the wrong place, but I'd be interested to hear your views if indeed you find this question an appropriate one.

    I've seen so many sellers online making very good money from selling products that very clearly infringe on copyright.

    One of my biggest temptations as a designer, illustrator and writer is maintain a level of integrity where I don't settle for making a quick bucks, or rather many thousands of dollars.

    But I feel it's not a level playing field, by any stretch of the imagination.

    I don't want to work hard for sometimes years at a time creating something original and unique for others to make money from it by breaching my copyright.

    I just feels like it taints my desire to design and write.

    Copyright and trademarking only go so far to protect one's work and even then unless you're a large corporation with a hefty budget and good lawyer it's pointless to even trying to protect it.


  • A former junior high and high school classmate of mine, the best artist in our grade, now owns and operates a gallery/studio in a major city. His studio does, among other things, promotional posters, etc. for popular musical artists. One of his most-prized designs was co-opted without permission by Target and sold on a tshirt. Of course it was truly upsetting, and he persued legal action. I don't yet know the outcome.

    The idea that intellectual property protection--a set of "exclusive rights" given to the creator--serves as an incentive for scientific discovery, inventions, etc. is set forth in our Constitution. In general, this has worked fairly well, sometimes too well. Sometimes big companies do indeed get away with infringement. My school friend has made money from his business, but not at the Target level. 

    However, I think he is the kind of person who cannot NOT create. That he can make a living doing this is great, but even if he worked as an accountant, I still feel he would be an artist at heart and create in his free time. Just a guess.

    I hope my musings have helped?

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