“Creativity, Ethics and the Law” by Burriss

  • ©Larry L. Burriss




    Creativity, Ethics and the Law



    It’s been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. However, if someone is copying your web site or graphic design, you may be losing a lot of money. How? Because as the designer/artist you have a right to get paid every time your work is used or displayed. The key in this process is that designers should receive some kind of payment when others use their artistic creations. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

    Every time someone makes an unauthorized copy of a creative work, or illegally downloads a piece of artwork off the internet, the designer, along with the publisher, is losing money. Many people feel justified copying other people work because, in their minds, it only hurts “big” design firms or publishing companies or other content providers. However, a lot of “little people” work in the graphic design field, and these are usually the ones who suffer most from this type of lost income.

    Arguments regarding the need for stronger or weaker copyright laws tend to be generated by two groups. One group, users of existing copyrighted material, characteristically argues for greater ease of access to creative works. Therefore, they would like to see less restrictive copyright laws. The other group, those who control copyright protected works, almost always fight to get more powerful copyright laws enacted.


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