You keep a close eye on the art scene that you work in, so it does not take you long to find out that someone stole some of your work. You discover that they're selling products with your art on it. Maybe they're making book covers, t-shirts, wall prints or a whole host of other products.
A video game called Glorious Saga was produced by Sina Games. It was a free-to-play game, and it did garner some popularity in the time that it was available. However, the makers were recently sued and decided to just shut the whole thing down.
Romance novels are very popular, making billions of dollars every year. More and more often, these novels are getting self-published. Companies like Amazon make it very easy for people to upload their books, covers and other information, giving them the freedom to publish whatever they want -- that fits within the guidelines -- and market it as they see fit.
A lot of artists worry that their work will get stolen when they post it online. Not only do they worry that consumers will take the work for free, but they also worry that major corporations will simply steal their work and profit off of it, assuming that the artists will not have the money, time or knowledge to go after them in court.
Online piracy really rose into the public view back when Napster took over the online music scene. The site, which was shut down back in 2001, was still in the relatively early days of the internet, but it showed just how easy it was for people to essentially steal digital files.
Say you create some sort of artistic work, like a novel or a book of poems, and then you decide that you do not want to have full control of it anymore. Perhaps someone else came up to you and made an offer to buy it if they would then be allowed to use it and sell it.
You spent years or even decades working on your art. Maybe you write novels, make videos or paint pictures. Maybe you're a photographer or a graphic artist. Exactly what you do is not important; the key is that you invested a lot of your time, energy and talent into that work.
There are many different ways to protect intellectual property. Three of the most common are patents, trademarks and copyrights.
Have you heard someone say that they took out a "poor man's copyright?" Have you wondered exactly what they meant and whether or not it is a good idea?
In a lot of cases, plagiarism is clear and may violate a copyright. If someone steals a text entirely and tries to pass it off as their own, that's plagiarism. They stole the content. When you compare the two, they look identical.