Monday, July 25, 2016

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Current Affairs Rant...

9 year olds' selfie of her Lego person
I think it's fascinating when big companies try to sweep oops under the rug and then threaten and bristle if anyone comes questioning them. Yet, so many get busted. And when it's all said and done the money they shell out to cover their lie on top of the thing they were trying to cover has to be so much more than had they done the right thing in the first place. Yet. It happens. 

Not that I know any involved in this latest deal. A company, Zara, has apparently been using designs that are real simplistic but obviously real similar to artists without giving the artists credit or payment. And the bootlegged designs are being placed on items for sale, and, therefore, Zara is making some bank. When confronted Zara threw a lawyer at the artists so they are taking matters into their own hands through a social media campaign. Like I said, I know nothing beyond just what I read on the link, but I hate the abuse of power. 

Having posted so many recipes and book reviews I try to stay on top of the legal and ethical waves of doing the right thing.  For starters I don't use photographs taken by others, unless it's one of my people who give me permission or use my camera to take it. (I'm taking to you 7 year old oh, and 5 year old.)

If I get a book for review, the free book has nothing to do with the honesty of my review. I write reviews for the people who love to read, not the authors. That's what endorsements are for, and even then, the few I've written, are honest. I'm not selling my integrity for a free book I may or may not like. I have a disclosure notice right on the review blog. And seriously, the major point there is that I can't review something I haven't been able to read. Or products, same deal. Can't review it if I don't have the product to try out. But there are laws out there to make sure people aren't taking money under the table to "endorse" products. So many bad apples. 

If I make someone else's recipe or take one from a cook book that is still available it is unethical for me to post it as is and call it my own. That makes a ton of sense to me. The Rice Krispie folks own the Rice Krispie label and trademark. They also owe whoever came up with that recipe. There are many slightly tweaked versions. I've tweaked one myself. But I can't claim the on the box Rice Krispie Treat exact recipe as mine. That said, recipes are kind of tricky. Honestly, one person needs a written list of instructions to make pulled pork in the crock pot. Another wings it. The similarities of a several pulled pork recipes are going to be a lot. You'll need pork, seasonings, spices, a way and length of time to cook it. That's where the tweaking and uniqueness comes in. So in a situation like that where there is an on-line or cook book recipe, the proper and appropriate thing to do is link to the original author's recipe so that the person reading my blog can go to the other person's page for the recipe. If I change multiple ingredients (use of jack fruit, heart of palm and diced seitan instead of pork for example and 5 different spices added and two subtracted for the sauce) and rewrite the steps accordingly I can name it my own but I also should link to the person or give a shout out to the cookbook who inspired me. 

Also blogging gains me next to nothing. I have ads on my page. And I get a PayPal deposit of cents every month or so. 

So it kind of ticks me off that just because someone has a lawyer on staff they can borrow anything they consider simplistic and make money on it all the while intimidating and threatening the people who say "Foul!"