per·i·pa·tet·ic
ˌperēpəˈtedik/
adjective
  1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
    Aristotelian.
noun
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Itsy-Bitsy Spider Flouts Copyright Laws, Copies Web Design, and Gains Own Following

Golden-Silk Spider, Nephila clavipes, resting on its artwork

 
Oh, you Itsy-Bitsy spider, you're getting mighty big.
With all the bugs you've eaten, I ought to call you "pig."
But out from Charlotte's Web fans would come a mighty yell
That "this itsy-bitsy spider her own story must spell!"

A recent blog post by a fellow Floridian, Mary Lemmenes, got me thinking. And then a post by Arlee Bird of Tossing It Out fame got me thinking even more. Mary expressed concern about how discouraging plagiarism is to artists who want to be discovered and sell their work on the Web. It seems that there are unscrupulous people out there (online) who steal ideas/stories/artwork and put them on their own websites, trying to make money with stolen "property.". And Arlee pretty much said that putting my derivative story based on Winnie-the-Pooh and friends (written and illustrated when I was nine years old) on the Web would probably result in legal action by Pooh's modern-day handlers.

Hmm. I think I'll check into this whole derivative/copyright thing a little more closely. Someone might decide to copy and profit from a work of mine before I have a chance to say anything about it. Like, wow, I'm impressed that you can make money from this stuff. I sure can't. Or maybe I don't want to.

After a while--it does take more time these days--the old brain really started to work. I thought to myself: Self, it's a good thing that spiders don't need or pay attention to copyright laws. Otherwise, they'd be hiding their "artwork" (webs) which would never be discovered by those bugs they like to catch and eat, and you, self, would be covered up with bugs a mile thick.

By the way, does anyone happen to know who wrote the song and lyrics to Itsy-Bitsy Spider? I'd like to give credit where credit is due. I just hope whoever it is doesn't expect any royalties from me for borrowing an idea.

19 comments:

  1. You made me curious about the spider song so I looked it up on the world wide Web (of course). Couldn't find any origin, but they cited a campfire song book from 1910 that has the song with the lyrics citing "blooming, bloody spider" instead of "itsy bitsy" or "eensie weensie" or whatever.

    I hope I write something someday that someone finds worthy to plagiarize. Kind of gives ones creation more credibility.

    Thanks for the mention.


    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  2. That issue recently came out in the quilter's blogging community, too. I think some of it is ridiculous. For instance, an author used traditional quilt block designs to write a book. Then when a blogger offered to post a tutorial to help people make the blocks, the author got all up in arms and started to cause trouble. The blocks themselves have been around since the beginning of time. And really, when you think about it, the author would probably see an increase in book sales because many would see the tutoriala and want to buy the book so they can make the featured 'sampler' quilt, too. Seems to be a lot of gray area surrounding copyright. I loved your 'lead in'!! You are quite clever!!

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  3. Your wit is unparalleled in dealing with the subject. I'm with you, who's making all this money??

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  4. It's an interesting point. I wrote a song for a colleague who was retiring. After singing it another colleague wanted to lyrics but asked if I was going to copyright them. For goodness sakes, I wrote it in two days, but who knows, maybe it will be the next Rebecca Black's Friday song. Unlikely.

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  5. It's tricky isn't it. You'd hope that if anyone "borrowed" your work they'd acknowledge it, as the honest people do. As for making money, could you let me know if you find out a way to do that?!

    The whole copyright thing is a minefield - some musicians here used some bars from an old kindergarten song, and all hell was let loose. It went to court, all very acrimonious.

    I've heard similar to the quilting comment but with traditional knitting patterns.

    Have a lovely weekend.

    Sue

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  6. Hi W2W .. there are too many people without principle out there .. and all that happens it causes honest, normal, down to earth people much hurt and chagrin ..

    I sort of keep an eye on what's happening .. but it's a minefield .. especially with different areas of copyright across countries.

    Good to know about though .. and I love your spider .. cheers Hilary

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  7. It's a conudrum all right. To be flattered or outraged. I think I'd be slightly miffed if someone copied from my stories mostly cause they didn't ask. I'm big on politiness. :)

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  8. having worked for a magazine in the past, I'm more than familiar with the copyright and intelectual property laws, and bloggers are a little safer than they think...

    first... if something is copied, the date is right there for anybody to see... and it's quite easy to prove you published it first and claim any money made, provided of course that the money made was worth the legal fees and it's usually not.

    The truth is that there aren't that many origional ideas out there. Recently, I was watching a DVD of a movie called Insidious with a group of friends and about half-way through we realized that it was simply a rewrite of the movie Poltergeist... a little meaner, but essentially the same story.

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  9. I have a way of eliminating plagiarism; I just write a load of rubbish! Thus far, no one has used any of it. I think they'd be too ashamed.

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  10. Arlee, "blooming, bloody spider"? Who in their right mind would encourage a sing-along with lyrics like that?! Thanks for checking into it for me.

    Karen, that author ain't quite with it. She doesn't seem to understand the importance of getting the word out there. Has she not been watching the news lately? Even the Pres uses Twitter. I'm glad you liked the post.

    Tina, laughing about it is certainly better than crying. And the ones making money? It must be who you know and not what that matters, as usual.

    Mr. S, the singing hydrologist? You'll be famous someday. Keep writing those songs, though. One-hit wonders are no fun.

    Sue, I've heard that even singing the Happy Birthday song in a public setting is not acceptable anymore. Something to do with copyright and royalties. Geez, Louise! You can't even sneeze and say pass the Kleenex instead of tissue. A few years back when we lived in Illinois, a neighbor of ours owned a restaurant that he called Hungry Jack's. His name was Jack. Well guess what? He was contacted by lawyers representing the brand name (pancake products here in the U.S.) and had to change it to just Hungry's. Not quite the same effect. I hope you have a wonderful weekend too.

    Ms. Hilary, it is difficult to navigate these tricky waters of copyright laws. I guess that's why I don't want to make money with my blog. If I mention a brand name or use a famous line from a song or movie, then I could be sued for making a profit from someone else's intellectual property.

    I'm with you, TB. I don't mind someone borrowing an image or something I've written as long as they attribute it. It's stated quite clearly here on the blog. But then I don't have the wherewithal to hunt them down and make 'em pay if they don't and proceed to profit from what I've done or use it for some demeaning or disgusting purpose. That's another thing to consider besides the money factor.

    You're right on, Claude, about originality. That's a point that Arlee made in his post. "There's nothing new under the sun." If only Solomon were around to see what's happened since he wrote those words...

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  11. I'm a fan of spiders, and your web is really something! Carly Simon did the song the way I remember it, the Itsy Bitsy Spider.

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  12. The only time I ever worried about plagiarism was in college writing classes. I guess I should be worried about it now too since "there aren't that many origional ideas out there."
    If I am ever plagiarized, it would be an honor. I think.

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  13. Copyright infringement is pretty tricky, the best policy is to just not do it. There are so many Creative Commons images that it really isn't necessary to take the risk. I don't know about derivative stories, maybe as long as you don't profit from them?

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  14. I'm a Carly Simon fan, Ciss B, and I don't remember her singing that song. I'll have to look it up. Thanks!

    TC, for the famous writers it's a problem. For the rest of us, well, it seems to be something else altogether. What I really don't understand is what the famous ones are so afraid of? Losing a few bucks to some schmuck without imagination? Or is that they might lose their own grip on imagination? Not ever come up with a good idea again? Art as commodity. It's strange to think of it like that.

    You're right, Paula, about the images. Those are pretty cut and dry cases. Words and stories are a little different. And I'm not sure if it's all about the profit thing. Maybe some of it has to do with ego.

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  15. Oh, IG, I forgot your comment, and it's probably my favorite. My sentiments exactly. Write a load of rubbish, and no one comes running. At least not until you're long gone, and the general sense of humor makes a shift in direction.

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  16. I know several garden bloggers who have had entire posts plagiarized and posted on another site without their permission. I've never had that happen to me yet (that I know of); I guess I don't write anything worth copying:) But these days I'd be wary of posting anything on the Net that you didn't want copied. It's unfortunate there are so many unscrupulous people out there.

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  17. I used to check my blog entries using this tool copyscape.com for plagiarism..Will this be of help? What do you think?

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  18. hmm... I'm new to this discussion, but I used to do copyright clearance for our publishing office. I can't imagine something you wrote as a child that's similar to a child's story is in any danger of violating copyright laws. I think the group that suffers as a result of this type of copying are photographers and illustrators. They make their living taking photos and drawing, but they're very undervalued.

    best~ :o)

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  19. Oh yes, some are real crazy about thier stuff... Long long ago, my brother was having his first born and they wanted to paint a Mickey Mouse on the wall. YOu can only imagine all the fuss of copy rights going on in that house. The decision was made to paint Mickey after all. If Disney reps wanted to see it, they would have to be inside their house and what are the chances of that happening. Ha, I can still remember that so many ( I think 30) years ago....

    Love the water beauties below but yes can be pesky. We always clean our prop when we get out of the lake. The sign tells us to but funny thing, I never see anyone else as much as looking at their props when they get off the lake. Grrrrrrrrr...

    Nice String of fishy there SAM....

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