Most of us like to think of ourselves as basically honest. We don’t steal from others either. I find it interesting then that we actually lie to ourselves about how honest we are. This came to light recently when I was chatting with a couple friends. David was offering a digital coaching program to us free. It turns out that it wasn’t one that he wrote. Nobody thought twice about his giving us someone else’s copyrighted course.
Friends Fudge on the Importance of Copyright to Do a Favor
Yet, these are honest, hard-working people. I’ve been friends with Tom for around seven years and David just a short time though long enough to be impressed with him as well.
Tom is an Internet marketer with a thriving business, lots of information products and a membership program that runs into five figures a year per member. David is himself a successful Internet marketer too. I know that Tom takes his copyrights seriously and am sure he would defend those rights in court. From what I’ve heard from David, I believe he would too.
So, the shocking thing is that neither thought anything about giving away someone else’s copyrighted course. Maybe because there was no money exchanged. It was just a gift between friends.
I find this attitude prevalent in our society. Don’t you?
Still Morality Bans Theft Regardless of Amount
Call me a prude. This bothers me. (My classmates called me “rabbi” and “padre” in Catholic grade school so I guess I still have “it.”)
Nevertheless, the major religions all have rules against theft. I like the Oriental concept of karma best because it covers everything both positive and negative. In Christianity and Judaism, the closest concepts to karma are “an eye for an eye” and “as ye sow, so shall ye reap.”
People don’t think of giving a free copy to family and friends of something they bought. There’s nothing wrong with that is there?
Writer’s Viewpoint of These Gifts
Yet, as a writer whose livelihood comes from my laboring to come up with topics you will find interesting and beneficial in some way, it is important to me. I give away a significant amount of material so I feel I deserve to be paid for what I reserve for sale.
The interesting point to all of this is that my beliefs are that the Universe has a very strict accounting system that tracks all these pluses and minuses, all of them no matter how small. It’s called karma. Thus, the question isn’t whether you repay the debt, but when will you repay the debt.
In my personal experience, the repayment for things I thought I could get away with doesn’t come at my convenience. The worst part is that when I do have to repay the debt, it’s usually so far separated from the occasion where I created the debt that I don’t recognize it. Instead, I bitch about how unfair life is. Ironically, my complaint is due to life being very fair, just slow.So, what do you think about giving family and friends a free copy of someone’s work? After all, you paid for it once, right?
I would love to hear whether you agree that these gifts are really “little” thefts or do you feel it is all right to do?
Open your heart in selling,
John R. Aberle
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