Wednesday 14 December 2011


I suppose I must have half-inched a few things in my time; a pencil here, a book there. But I've never been what one would call a 'thief'; I could no more break into another person's house, or steal a car, than I could strangle my own grandmother.

However, I have occasionally suffered at the hands of other people's stealing. I remember, when quite young, going into a toy shop with a much older boy who surreptitiously stuffed something into my pocket. He left the shop first, leaving me to get caught with his swag in my possession (I didn't even know what it was). No matter how hard I tried to explain to the shop-keeper, he gave me a good ticking-off. The other boy (who'd been waiting outside) thought the whole incident a big joke.... I didn't.

Luckily I've never had my home burgled, but I've had plenty of paintings stolen; mostly (I'm saddened to say) during my college days, when I'm sure the culprits were my tutors. I've also sold things for which I've never received payment; this in my mind is also stealing.

This posting has been prompted by a postcard I recently sent to a friend. It was of a simple drawing I did back in 1993 of the 3 houses in my tiny hamlet. It was a semi-aerial view, with the area around the houses having been compressed, in order to fit them onto a small piece of paper.

At the time, I gave a photocopy of the drawing to a neighbour, as I thought their young daughter would enjoy colouring it in. However, I was not expecting them, some weeks later, to give me back a handful of printed post-cards (of the self-same drawing), complete with their own stolen 'COPYRIGHT' on the address side. They seemed to think I would be delighted by such a gift.... I don't know how, but it was amazing that I managed not to go directly to my lawyer.


  1. Crikey! that takes re-gifting to a whole new level!
    Call the lawyers I say!

  2. I think I pocketed a candy bar once and came down with measles the very next day. That did it for me, and also gave me a proper appreciation for Divine Retribution--for a while. Now I can see there's no evidence of that.

  3. I only ever stole once - and I got caught for it! There was a set of bolt croppers (always associated with criminals!) that had been lying about at college for about a week, and I tried to sell them to a tool-shop whilst a pair of plain-clothes police who happened to be passing watched me from outside the shop. It must have been a cry for help on my part, but I got fined for it instead. End of criminal career.

  4. At work I use copyright law as a huge spiky stick to frighten late paying clients.

    That would have had me instructing a lawyer with three minutes.

    Nice drawing though Cro.

  5. For the local motorbike club I photograph their events and t'riders can purchase the full-size images for the outrageous price of 99p per (their events are four hour enduros - hundreds of photos). One gentleman has as his profile picture on FaceBook a mobile phone photograph of his computer screen showing one of my images of him (with my company watermark through the middle).

    I'm not bothered about the 99p but I am a bit miffed about a grainy, lop-sided, out-of-focus colour-washed image of mine c/r logo being brandished to the world!

    Some folks will do ANYTHING to avoid paying for work done.

    I'm going to surprise him at the next event - by taking no photographs of him whatsoever...

  6. About 10 yrs ago, My mother and I owned a needlework shop here in town. I designed and made custom leather/hand beaded garments for the rodeo queen crowd here. The only thing I got for it was non-payment of beautiful garments but a chastize group that expected that you just do the clothing and not get paid because of the privledge of designing work for the state queens.
    Moral of the story: I quit designing. But this group just found another patsy. I found out that she works for nothing also, because they threatened her.
    Personally, Mr. M, I would talk to your attorney.

  7. Of all the unmitigated gall! Some "favor", huh? I used to write a monthly newsletter for amateur radio operators, and two fellas who wrote a column for a regional magazine used to use my work, word for word. One, at least, gave attribution, but the other put it out there as though it were his own. None of us were paid for this work, but it still ticks me off to think about it, so I know how you felt when you saw your work claimed (and copywrited, yet!) by another.

  8. sadly it's ever thus, when I first came to the internet onliners where giving their graphics away for free, with the request that those who used the graphic link back to the artist. Then graphic artist started selling their work...and the "thieving" began. Absolutely no respect for copyrights...and that a neighbor should do this and claim copyrights! Do folks even understand what having a copyright means? I'd talk to my lawyer!

    Your drawing is bad it had to be stolen!

  9. There's still nothing new under the sun--the volumes that could be filled with these borrowings that borrowers deem innocuous. Back in the day another weaver copied our designs and sold them. She called herself Janet Originals. We called her Janot Originals.

  10. Giggle...people!! Love the charming drawing, Cro...

  11. I love the drawing. It's amazing that they sent one to you without asking your permission to use the drawing.


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