I am a rule follower. I want to color inside the lines and I tend to feel guilty for crossing the lines. For example, the grocery store clerk isn’t paying attention and rings up my order for organic oranges as conventional. I will point it out and get charged more money. Even if I get to the car and realize that I was undercharged, I will go back in and make it right. I don’t want to steal. I would feel absolutely horrible if I did. I am also very sensitive to digital rights issues. It is so easy to copy and paste something or to download and then share the download with a friend.
Recently something happened that reminded me of the other side’s position and made it all the more clear to me how important it is to respect copyrights and intellectual property. About a year ago a company stole my thesis and published it on their website as an endorsement for a product they were selling <insert eyes popping out of head emoticon!> This was a company I had NEVER heard of and while I love raspberry leaf, I don’t know the quality of their product. I wanted nothing to do with their website and I was really angry that they were using my thesis as their product description. I got my thesis removed from their website, but apparently, they also published my thesis in their newsletter without giving credit or asking permission. Fast forward to last week. I received a call from the school I attended asking if I wanted to give out a recipe for a lung formula that I mentioned in my thesis. This particular company had been receiving requests for the formula and they told the office at the school they really needed it right away. Since it is my formula the lady in the office called me. This particular formula is near to me. One day, my then three year old daughter was sick. She was coughing and wheezing and couldn’t seem to shake the congestion and breath well. I stood at my counter and prayed to know what to do for her. I held a pencil over paper and then the Spirit of the Lord blessed me with a formula. My hand wrote it out. I made it up and found it worked very well for her and many others. I told the lady from the school office that while I often freely give out that recipe to those in need, I WILL NOT give it to someone who is using my work and the inspiration the Lord gave me to profit without any sort of compensation. Sorry. Not happening! As I later found out, this particular company has done this with others as well. I am not the first and I will not be the last.