I have often wondered if the Library of Congress has considered offering to the world a “secured” voice, appropriately labeled a “verbal-copyright”?
We are all held to higher standards as it relates to written words. We may have personally observed lawsuits against persons who have committed artistic thievery. Laws have been passed to thwart, slow down, and discourage those that appear to be oblivious to “borrowing,” “sampling,” “referencing,” the works of others without securing their permission, visa vi. plagiarizing the written words of others.
The verbal soliloquies espoused in professional meetings, casual conversations, and other verbal discourses are often repeated by others. These admiring, shameless individuals proudly claim, the brain trust of others as their own, often repeating with vigor and conviction those exact, words, constructs, ideas and methods that were “borrowed” from someone else.
What are “borrowed” words worth? Can we place a monetary value on them? How would we prove that they were indeed our words, ideas, methods, etc.?
Words are process starters; we are asked for our ideas, our opinions, we are often asked to brainstorm on specific topics, in specific settings, to address specific situations to either alleviate and or to create a certain ambiance within a given area or space.
Would a verbal copyright demand an audience in cases that reference the aforementioned? What if you were discussing an idea for a business, a Broadway show, a fundraiser, etc. with a friend or colleague and your suggestion was embraced, brought to fruition and commanded personal and or financial rewards that were given to the “borrower(s)”?
Is a written word more important than a spoken word? Suffice it to say that written documentation becomes its own voice. However, does that translate to a spoken word being less important than a written word?
“Verbal-copyrights” could be your best friend. Have you ever been in a meeting, shared an idea or and opinion that was met with very little if any acceptance, then have someone else “borrow” what you’ve just extrapolated, share it as if it is a brand new concept or idea and it is met with great acceptance as they proudly bask in their “borrowed” glory? Was it the voice, or messenger?
What say you, “verbal copyright” or no.
Melvin “Casey” Lars
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