outside the box

  Reader a victim of 'idea piracy'

Sunday, April 03, 2005

by Dolly Anne Carvajal

Pirating other people's ideas is even worse than pirating CDs and DVDs. How can you ban those idea stealers from the face of the earth? I remember what my mom used to say: "Unless there's a contract already, don't give your all. You never know who to trust in this business." As I told a colleague: "Brainstorm to no end but before you realize it your brain's output could be taken away from you, like a storm had struck!"

With that in mind, this e-mail from a reader struck me. May it serve as a wake up call to the network people. Can't cry over spilt milk and creative juices either.

Dear Dolly,

Last week, I saw a press release in the papers that there was an upcoming show on ____ entitled "_____" I was surprised when I read that because I remember that when I took the exam last November 2004 at the [station] for the promo writer position, one of the questions for the take home exam was: Present 10 name/title studies for a proposed morning TV program for housewives, etc...

I thought questions for applicants were meant to gauge the applicant's ability and only that?

Why did it have to be an upcoming television show in the first place? I don't understand. This leads me to assume that the applicants' ideas were used in order to come up with a title for the TV show.

I find this unacceptable. It's not because I'm bitter for not having been hired. I am no longer interested in the position. I just want an explanation: Why we were asked to present 10 titles for an upcoming TV show when we had not been hired! How long has this been going? How about the other questions in the exam? Were those "suggestions" also used? This is such an insult for writers who work and think hard to come up with ideas.

Now I get it: When I received a phone call for the exam, I was reminded to "invite more friends to take the Exam." In hindsight, this translated to: "Invite your friends in order for us to get more ideas. Thank you. Thank you!"

Writers deserve respect. There are such things as ethics and values. We learn these two virtues in grade school. I am disappointed that a giant network would do such a cruel thing, especially to aspiring Filipino writers. It's bad enough that it's hard to make a decent living as a writer here in the Philippines. Our ideas are gems. The last thing we need is some heartless institution taking advantage of us.

(Name Withheld upon Request)

notes: parts of the original post wasn't included above due to relativity of the topic.

I've been ignoring this link at
msn for days. As I read this today, I realized the significance of this to struggling writers like us (ehem). Someone asked me if publishing one's thoughts on the web was okay with the respective writers. Maybe she was thinking of the privacy of the individual or probably, she was just astonished by such liberalism.

But hey, as Dolly says and I believe all the same "there's always a risk that your idea will be snatched away by someone else and passed off as their own."

Although, One cannot avoid the uncertainties in Life anyway.


atomicvelvetsigh drank tea with Pandora @ 3:50 AM  


Anonymous Jackal said...

Good artists copy. Great artists steal. - Picasso.

If you have time and are interested in the idea of stolen ideas...here is an interesting link about such topic which you may enjoy reading...


4/22/05, 12:41 AM  
Blogger atomicvelvetsigh said...

ha! Picasso... which reminds me.. seen my profile pic yet? lol!

interesting link you gave... reading on..

4/22/05, 2:30 AM  

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