Monday, March 16, 2009
The Boys Are Hungry
Someone once said to me, “Be careful, the boys are hungry out there.” This refers to the theft of ideas on the Internet. If I have what I believe to be a winning electronic concept, I may develop several embodiments of the same. So last year I designed a “Super Simple Counter”. Embodiment A was published in a British magazine, Embodiment B was published on this blog (see http://thomasscarborough.blogspot.com/2009/01/simple-counter.html), and Embodiment C was due to be published in Australia. Yet before Embodiment C could be published, someone "borrowed" Embodiment B, and had this published in Australia (the "borrower" has duly been paid for his efforts). I wrote immediately to my Australian editor: “May I withdraw [Embodiment C]?” The reason is that I wouldn’t want Embodiment C to be seen as a copied concept (a copy of the copy)! OBSERVATION: Sometimes there are “straight copies”, and sometimes there are minor modifications -- as simple, sometimes, as substituting equivalent parts. In this case, my design was creatively modified, although it was plain to see that it was a copy. See http://thomasscarborough.blogspot.com/2007/09/disco-craze.html for a visual example of a copy of one of my designs. It’s not the same, but you'll see that it’s a copy.