Besides sports, another program I enjoy watching on television is animal documentaries. I can sit down in front of the TV for hours watching behaviorisms of animals because it teaches you the root and essence of nature. Many times, as I watch these documentaries, I get inspired. I don’t only get inspired; it also brings me into a better understanding of life and how nature responds to it. This article was inspired by one of those documentaries.
On the National Geographic Wild channel, I watched a documentary on the Mamba snake. The Mamba snake is a predator that kills and swallows other animals. In color and other physical appearances, except you are a Biologist that specializes on snakes, you won’t be able to tell the differences between the male and female mamba. But among the mambas, they know who is who.
What really amazed me about this documentary was when a female mamba went hunting. She climbed a tree, and saw a big rat. With precision, focus, keenness, drive, and determination, she attacked the small animal and injected her venom into it. The rat fell off the tree and was gasping for breath. Hastily, the female mamba was on her way down, when suddenly, she noticed something that made her withdraw. There were two male mambas downstairs; these two went for the rat in spite of not being responsible for the kill. The fear, cowardice, and inferiority complex in the female mamba dare not let her go for what she worked hard for.
As I watched this scene of the documentary, I realized that a man may be focused, keen, determined, hardworking, and driven, and yet, miss out on the gains of his great personal qualities.
A couple of years ago, I had a debate with a personal friend of the black woman from whose book, the movie Matrix was adapted from. She told me that the book was used without the consent of the author and publisher. Because the author, who also self published the book was unknown, and perceivably insignificant, the producers of the movie played a fast one on her. It was when she was watching the movie that she realized that the script was a carbon copy of her book. Immediately, she contacted a lawyer. At first, the producers tried being stubborn, but her insistence made them settle out of court, and of course, she instantly became a rich woman. If she had acted like the female mamba, she would have lost out to predators that are ever ready to prey on vulnerable talented people.
Listen to me, positive character alone will not help you eat the fruit of your labor; sometimes, you have to play dirty in order to get your bounty. If you are too religiously cool, you will keep producing for another to be eating. All-time cool people die with unfulfilled dreams.
To protect your innovation, what must you do?
Firstly, you must be bold! The female mamba was a coward. Cowards never eat what they kill; they kill and another person eats.
Be bold to confront anyone who steals the harvest of your hard earned focus. Don’t be silent. In whatever channel you can use, make the person realize that he stole from you. Anyone that uses your material without referencing you is a thief, no matter who they are. They are like the male mamba that stole from who they should be protecting. So, don’t be scared to defend what you spent sleepless nights working on.
Secondly, you must be knowledgeable. Why write a book without an ISBN number? Why create an original product without patenting it? It doesn’t make sense.
I have seen people publish books without ISBN numbers, and that doesn’t make sense. The book you consider insignificant today may be a hit in a hundred years time. The song or poem you think is worthless may become the toast of the world when you’re gone. If you do not protect it, you succeeded in taking away the wealth of your next generation. Imagine if Coca Cola was not protected?
Thirdly, if you can’t be bold, or isn’t knowledgeable, be an alarmist. A fire alarm can be so irritating in spite of detecting just cigarette smoke. That is exactly who you should be when someone tampers with your fruit without permission. Make some noise around the person, without directly speaking with that person. One way of noise making is using the social media. ‘Please, no one should use my materials without permission. I am observing you’ is enough to scare some potential thieves from preying on you. As you raise alarm, be sure that it isn’t a false one, because if it is, next time you raise a genuine one, no one will take you serious. If an alarm keeps disturbing neighbors over nothing, an intelligent burglar can walk in to steal without anyone noticing.
Fourthly, be a whistle blower! Don’t hide plagiarists; whether they stole from you or not.
In conclusion I say that whatever you own, that you post on the social media without using a copyright symbol or stating the legal implication of duplicating it without permission, lawfully, belongs to anyone. In the future, if anyone reproduces it, it will be tough to win such a case in the court of law!