Speaker Steals Intellectual Property

How would you like that to be the headline after your speech?

But sometimes people steal without realizing it - especially intellectual property. However ignorance has never been a valid legal nor ethical defense. Of course stupidity and arrogance are not acceptable arguments either.

I witnessed this speaker as she clearly used copywrited music and video in her presentation, (popular music, TV Theme song, Video commercials, main stream movies). She used so many clips from so many sources that I cannot imagine how she obtained permission. And at no time did she allay the concerns of her audience by stating that she had obtained permission to use this copywrited material.

I can only assume that she stole. She took something that wasn’t hers, didn’t get permission, didn’t pay for it nor acknowledged the source. On top of that she did it with that haughty corporate executive superior ‘can’t touch this’ attitude.

Some might suggest that the theft of Intellectual Property doesn’t hurt anyone.
Tell that to authors.
Tell that to patent holders.
Tell that to artists.
Tell that to inventors.

Yes, I know that in corporate meetings, managers and executive get away with pirating Dilbert cartoons. It’s theft. I wonder how those corporate executives would feel about entrepreneurs stealing their Intellectual property.

The irony about this speaker was that she was speaking to a public meeting of entrepreneurs. She warned entrepreneurs that corporate purchasing departments would steal their designs if they could. She warned the entrepreneurs to protect their Intellectual property.

Yet while warning about the illegal behaviour of her colleagues, she was demonstrating her own blatant theft. I don’t believe this speaker was stupid. She appeared intelligent and educated. She expressed an understanding of the value of Intellectual property, therefore could not profess ignorance. Her manner conveyed arrogance – in that Conrad Black divine entitlement way. So I can only conclude that she was a thief - a blatant and arrogant thief.

Funny that this speaker told me how excited she was that she was now writing and speaking for a professional association. I wonder if they read the headline. I wonder if she did.

Speaker Steals Intellectual Property


PS: No I will not tell you who this speaker is.

PPS: Yes, if you are this speaker and you call me to ask if I mean you – I will tell you.


George Torok
The Speech Coach for Executives




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