Intellectual property is mad

I tiptoe across the internet trying to find some voice of reason.

Noise.  Just lots and lots of noise.

That blog copied my blog post!

They used my photo without my permission!

They want me to write and not even pay me for it!

They want my advice for free – how dare they?

My recipe was bastardised!

I’m closing my blog because I am sick of people stealing my patterns!

How dare they produce a knock off of that chair, that is stealing from the designer!

I’m sending a cease and desist immediately!

Everywhere I go, people shouting and claiming ownership of ideas.  Intellectual property gone mad.  Intellectual Property IS mad.

I tire of it all.

Commercialism and commodification has gripped our world and the internet screams it from every single corner.  No matter where you turn, there it is.

I need to step away from all the noise.

I buy a book.  Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I open its pages.  Immediately the words, Liz’s words, soothe my soul.

Create for creation’s sake.  That is your only job.  Get what is inside of you, out.  That is all.  That is all the world – and your soul – needs.  The universe provides the inspiration, you create.  That is the only contract.

And once you have let it loose on the world, it no longer belongs to you.

People will consume it, and complain about it, and praise it, and shit on it, and plagiarise it, and copy it, and use it, and find inspiration from it.

And none of that matters.

For you have let it loose into the world.  And the world will do with it as it pleases.

You have no control.

You HAVE to create.  Your soul urges you, cajoles you, even manipulates you, until you bring forth that which resides within the deep recesses of your being.  There is a knocking inside of you, a longing, to bring it out into the open.  And you do.  You do it with joy and love and beauty.  Even if it isn’t an easy process, even if it drives you crazy and seems to take forever, painstakingly nurturing this thing inside you, you let it out.  Because you have to.  You simply have to create.

And then the lesson is to simply let go.  Hold open your palm and watch it fly.

You don’t own it.

Accept that.

You. Don’t. Own. It.

You gift it to the world.  Even if you get paid for it, especially if you are lucky enough to be paid for it, you still gift it to the world.

Some will find inspiration and create something of their own having seen your work.  Others will want to take it and try to make it their own exactly as it was presented to them, unchanged from when it left your being.  But they can’t.  Not really.  Because what you created came from deep within you.  And it took courage, YOUR courage, to release it into the world.  They can never make it their own.  They may claim it, but truly, you know it is yours.  And they know it isn’t theirs.  No-one can take that away from you, any more than that person can truly claim it as their own.  Their soul knows it isn’t their creation.

But it is MY work and I deserve to paid/have recognition for it.”

No, you don’t.

Long before money was invented, people would come together to create, to be, to commune, to collaborate and what they would produce would be beautiful and benefit themselves and all around them, just for the sheer pleasure of it.

We need more of that.  We need more people to simply let go.

It is liberating to let things go.  It is even more liberating to let your own creations go.  Just let them go.

You bubbled up and brought forth what your soul needed you to.  After that, it is up to the universe.

Give.  Just a little bit.  Just give.  Stop taking.  Stop holding so tightly.  Try to open that hand, and that heart, and simply let it go.

Let. It. Go.

You never know, it might be the best thing you ever do.

Until next time.

SHW Signature AmyG Font




31 thoughts on “Intellectual property is mad

  1. I agree! All people are creative, need to create, and we have done ourselves a disservice by seeking to commercialize that. Ancient cultures made marks on stones and in caves to tell their stories, and the world is better for it. What will future generations think of us?


    1. Sadly, I have no answer to that Donna, but it is a question I ask myself all the time. I guess we can be the antidote and just create as much as possible with as much of a light heart as possible and hope for the best. Thank you for reading and commenting xx


  2. Hi Sarah! Thank you. I needed to read this today (okay more than just today) because I was just on twitter and saw someone who basically took the name of my blog and started posting and tweeting things and I have to admit I thought WTF? But I know what you said is so true. I deeply believe what Elizabeth said about creating. I do it because I must and just like with kids, you don’t own them, they belong to the Universe once you create them. Just let them go. So we write, or we do whatever we do, and that is and should be enough. Plus I knew I wanted to read Elizabeth new book and now I know I will get it today. Thanks. ~Kathy


    1. It is confronting when something we created is found under someone else’s name – and I know I would be angry with that too. I am working on letting things go though. Our lives are transient and I have to remind myself that it isn’t worth it in the long run to harbour and hold on. I too believe in what Elizabeth wrote, very much. I love the idea of inspiration coming to us and allowing itself to be incubated within us. It makes it easier to let go too. Thanks for reading and commenting xx


  3. THIS. So THIS! I have a beautiful creative friend who makes amazing inventive clothing, that does get copied. She shrugs it off and says “I need to be making the new thing – this drives me to create the new, best thing. People will always copy but I can create.” Also, I have seen a few people complain that the words in a meme they created have been stolen. I have looked at it and thought, “well, no, that’s a pretty generic saying that I have seen plenty of places and before the internet.” You are right – we don’t own any of it.


    1. Hey there Robyna. Thank you so much for your comment and what an amazing outlook your friend has. she is right, of course. People copy because they believe themselves incapable of creating (which I believe to be a fallacy, but that is for another post perhaps), meanwhile there are those of us who are able to create and work with our inspiration to bring forth that we need to and I love that. That is, I believe, why creative people are very much drawn to other creatives and those that let their stuff go simply are happier for it. xx


  4. Abundance mentality – there’s nothing quite like it. I believe in it, Sarah, but a reminder like yours always helps. Thank you.
    I’m grateful to Katie and Kathy that I found your blog today! Will be back for more.


  5. I think we do need to think about what we expend our energy on. Sometimes it is not worth the fight.
    I can’t wait to read Big Magic. I’ve heard some of her interviews about it and it is insipiring.


  6. I love this perspective and it can be applied to so many aspects of one’s life can’t it? “open that hand and heart”. Beautiful, Sarah, just beautiful. Thank you so much for linking this to #BlogShareLearn.


  7. I have a friend who is an artist, and I told this friend once how much I admired their creativity. Then I added, “I’m not creative – I wish I were…” To which my friend replied, “Every one is creative, because God is creative, and we’re made in the image of God.” I loved that and it has stuck with me ever since and really changed the way I see the world. Your statement that we all “Have’ to create” speaks to that same idea. ~Paula R #BlogShareLearn


    1. I agree with your friend. I think we are ALL creative it is just that we, as humans, tend to categorise people into the elite group and the non-elite group. We are either excellent at something or suck at it. Which is sad. Because there is a lot to be said for the creations we bring to this world. Let’s be honest, everywhere we look, even at the cheap $1 stuff at the $1 store, is a creation. And it is all valid.


  8. I love your post. I love to create and feel privilaged that I can share and hopefully inspire. I feel everyone was inspired or got an idea from something or someone else. It feels good to share.


  9. If I had a dollar for every brilliant idea/post/invention I thought of one day that someone did the next day or week i would truly be a billionaire. THere is a whole lot of people in the world and I sometimes think the KGB have planted bugs in my home when I see someone too has thought of the same thing. No biggy though. I llloooovvveee this post because too many are complaining about the one original idea they may have had instead of thinking of another.


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