Sunday, October 24, 2010

Swagger Jacking

I know you've heard that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well there may be some truth to that but there is a line between imitation and out right thievery. Borrowing concepts, themes, melodies, grooves...etc has been common place for years in the music industry. When someone had a hit song, look or style everyone would jump on it with there version of the original idea. That is still true today. Let's face it you have trendsetters and then you have trend followers. Now it's cool if people are presenting a variation on your idea but plagiarism is still a crime in every since of the word and concept. Today we simply call it Swagger Jacking. When some artist cannot be not creative enough to come up with his/her own ideas or style they steal or jack someone else's ideas. Now I have seen people jack photo poses, CD concepts, style and I've even seen someone lift direct passages from someone's website or bio and attempt to pass them off as their own. Now for the first part there is not much you can do about some uncreative simple minded thieving artist jacking intangible concepts but I advise every artist to not only copyright your creative works but to also trademark your name, concepts, photos...etc. Now this is a rather costly investment but well worth it in the long run. We spend a lot of time branding in this industry and for someone to usurp the benefits of our work is just like them taking money out of our pockets. We have to think just like a major corporation I mean Coke does not play around with Pepsi or any other company when it comes to their brand. If you have a slogan, theme or catch phrase, be sure to trademark it before you start your branding so that if someone decides to steal it you have legal recourse. Keep it fresh and beware of the Swagger Jacking.

The Truth
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