The right to intellect

The attention being paid by the authorities to the intellectual property rights is to be lauded and supported by everyone, regardless of whether they are involved in the creative arts or outside it as recipients.

The International Book Fair at Sharjah is a valid background for such debate and any legislation that comes into force to control the pillaging of someone else’s efforts has to be fully endorsed.

There is no gainsaying the fact that it is an uphill task courtesy either and the mountain of information available on the search engines of the Net. By that token, policing contributions or trying to pin down imitations is not an easy task and trust has been bruised in recent years. Whether it is in the realm of writing or in art, in lyrics or in plots and scripts for cinema and theatre the availability of so much material so easily can create a ‘cut and paste’ copy that borrows from half a dozen originals and masquerades as an exercise in honest creativity when all it works as is a clever pastiche of deceit.

Because the levels of guilt have also dropped and there is this widely held belief that stealing from the Net is not actually the theft of intellect but more a research and a borrowing of ideas this process of sanitising the act receives false encouragement.

Again, even the recourse to legal aid is globally limited and since the Net has no boundaries even an ill-disguised recreated concept is difficult to indict. What does one do when people have little concern for other’s intellectual rights and think of it as fair game. The theft and that is what it is, of ideas, thinly veiled and reworked, is not going to disappear. The defence does not have a powerful case. That is why all international forums have to add on a dimension of ‘teaching the public’ and ‘underscoring’ the criminal nature of such actions at every possible opportunity. Only then will legal steps make sense. So long as there is this belief that it is no big deal and every work of the mind will be up for grabs…all you do is twist it out of shape…after all, how do you prove that two people cannot have the same idea?

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