Monday, May 14, 2007

The Entitlement Generation

Franklin's post about an encounter with a college student with an overwhelming sense of entitlement is, as usual, just perfect.

It makes me realize that my email encounter with a twit about something on my website wasn't really an isolated incident. Yes, some people really DO have an overwhelming sense of entitlement, and have no idea how rude they are.

I feel relieved, and somewhat justified. (Well, I felt justified before, but now even more so.)

The short version:
Twit emails me asking demanding that I take down pictures/descrition of an item from my website, as she now owns the item (a piece of vintage clothing), and my having a description and photos of the item on my website (taken, with permission, from the website of the person who was offering the item for sale) constitutes copyright infringement.

Um, no.

a) I had permission from the person who wrote up the description of the item and took the pictures (i.e., it was her intellectual property), and that person has not rescinded her permission. The reason I posted the pics / description in the first place is that the seller didn't want the additional traffic that would be caused by my simply putting up a link.

b) You can't own "copyright" on a 200+ year old item of clothing, especially one as common as this one. It's public domain. The design is not copyrighted, nor could it be.

c) Ms. Twit was confusing physical ownership of the item with ownership of any intellectual property pertaining to that item. (Yes, really. We went around and around on this point, several times.) I told her that what she was demanding was the equivalent of telling an author they had to retract any articles they'd written about an item when one museum sold it to another.

Oh, and sis, before you contradict me again, yes, she was really rude; no, she had no idea what copyright law said on the issue, and yes, I will send you all the relevant posts if you really want to see what I'm talking about.