A Day off from intellectual property is impossible just like this illusionOver the holidays, I decided to take some time off to spend with family and relax.  No planned Traklight work and I definitely did not have any intellectual property (IP) thoughts on my mind. Or so I thought...


Hobbies are set to be a big part of 2015 for the Juetten household so we went out to make a few fun purchases. Our first stop was an electronics store and after we sorted out that we did not need a computer keyboard, we picked out a musical keyboard with built-in recordings.

I turned it over to read the features on the back and there it was in the description of the song book: “Due to copyright restrictions, some of Song Bank tunes may not be included in the song book.”

Given my piano prowess, I laughed out loud at the idea that I would be making commercial gains off the songs in the book – it took me over an hour to master “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” with my right hand only.

Copyright & “free” download sites

You'd have to be living under a rock to not have heard about the movie The Interview over the 2014 holidays. We paid for and watched it on Christmas Day even though plenty of copies were being passed around without charge.

I guess that people skip over the warnings that outline the fines and prison terms associated with copyright infringement. Those warnings used to show up after the movie but now they are upfront. Perhaps people are immune to seeing them or think this is not something that can happen to them.

Cease and desist letters and artists taking action to protect their works against theft are very real possibilities. An increasing number of sites are launching to ferret out those who infringe on photos, songs, videos, and copy. Beware!

Rainbow swash

I was scrolling through Facebook and saw this reposting of a July article that caught my eye because the title described an 86 year-old retired executive being tracked down by a FBI counter-terrorism agent for taking a picture of a piece of public art outside of Boston.

I do enjoy reading these random articles as opposed to another short piece about the top three critical leadership characteristics when I am trying not to work. Yet again, there it was in the first half of the article. This rainbow swash is actually one of the world’s largest copyrighted items: a rainbow-like piece of art on an over 100 foot high liquefied gas storage tank.

Now, the counter-terrorism angle was not connected to the intellectual property or copyright nature of the photograph, it was just my third example within a few hours of how IP really is part of our everyday lives, not just our business or work lives.

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