Sunday, April 09, 2006

Claiming Ownership of Another's Work

I find it both humorous but sad that two organizations who report on persecution have recently redone their websites in such a way that copying text from their pages is quite a challenge. When one attempts to do so, a pop-up appears saying that the material is copyright.

I understand and appreciate the need to protect one's own intellectual property. There are many who use our material without permission. Most do so with good intentions and provide credit lines. Others lift our reports and pictures to enhance their own ministries and rarely, if ever, credit the source as The Voice of the Martyrs (Canada) and Some have even linked directly to some of our videos, helping themselves to our bandwidth, and them claimed copyright over them on their websites! Now that takes some nerve, doesn't it?

What I find so entertaining and poignant about the practices of these two ministries to which I referred to earlier, is when they often claim copyright over material that was not theirs in the first place. This is especially true when articles are reprinted in whole or on part. In these cases, the copyright holder is the original author, not the organization who reprints it and posts it on their website.

It is time for a little common sense here, folks. Paul Marshall indicated a decade ago in his groundbreaking book, "Their Blood Cries Out" that one of the reasons for the lack of knowledge about persecution in the world was the competition between ministries involved in the work of serving the persecuted church. I agree that we need to be diligent in crediting our sources when we report on the persecution. We need to give credit when credit is due. In the same way, we must not take credit for work that we do not do and claim ownership over material that never belonged to us in the first place.


Nick said...

Check out...

It's a cut & paste of the VoM Prisoner List, but you'd think they invented the concept.

Glen, you've done your best to ensure the record is set straight, & should continue to do so, and guard against any temptation to bitterness.
St Paul (Philippians 1:18) gives us a model response to adapt...

"...what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice."

Blessings and Easter Greetings
Nick in Melbourne Australia
"Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. HE IS RISEN!" (from Mark 16:6)

Glenn Penner said...

Thanks for forwarding this to me. If imitation is the highest form of flattery, I am, indeed, flattered.

Thanks for the advise. I appreciate the comment about bitterness but this is not the problem as much as disappointment in some of my fellow servants. They really ought to know better said...

If this is the Glenn Penner that went to WBC in 77-78 or thereabouts, I did order a copy of your book which I have not picked up yet at the Otterburne bookstore, In the Shadow of the Cross, With persecution on our doorstep in the American church the temptation to retaliate seems to be a continueing problem. How do we know which judgements are from God? Which judgements may come from a deep self-centered hatred of another race, as for example Syrians of Americans, why are their judgements of God and no one elses? You know who, the American- a litle to the left of the middle of the far right.