Intellectual Property Theft Karma: Down-low Download Can Bring You Down When It Comes Back Around

About a year ago, I became aware of an act of brazen intellectual property theft affecting one of my books.  I lit into the perpetrator and his employer on social media, and I kept it up.  I recently found out that my campaign against this individual has paid off.  While various privacy laws prevented me from finding out exactly how badly this thief’s career had been damaged, I do know that the damage is serious and long-lasting.  
The irony is that, had this person approached me about how I could help him in what he was trying to do, rather than stealing my IP, I would have been happy to work with him. Spreading the word about software testing, how to do it, and the importance of doing it right is something I’ve spent my entire career doing, and it’s something I’m happy to support. But, since he chose to steal from me, he earned himself an enemy, not a friend.
So, if you have any questions about using someone’s book, article, presentation, blog post, or other intellectual property, be smart: ask for permission.  Most authors are very generous, as we don’t write books, post articles, give webinars, etc., out of greed for money. On an hourly basis, you can make more money as a grocery clerk than you do in technical book royalties.  However, some of us authors are very protective of our brain-children, and I’m one of them.  If you chose to steal from people like me, trust me, we make it our mission to make you pay a very high price for that theft, mainly as a way of sending a message to the broader community. As the Chinese proverb says, kill the chicken to scare the monkeys.  Don’t be the next chicken an angry IP owner goes after.
If you are interested in using my IP or RBCS IP as part of your software testing or quality efforts, send us an e-mail.  We can let you know how you can do that, in a legal, ethical way that supports the long-term ecosystem of software testing ideas. 

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