Victim after victim--authors, artists, inventors--have told me the same story over and over again: "My work was stolen. The thief stonewalled me. I went to a lawyer. The lawyer told me it costs too mu

Victim after victim--authors, artists, inventors--have told me the same story over and over again: "My work was stolen. The thief stonewalled me. I went to a lawyer. The lawyer told me it costs too much to fight."

Instead, the law should be telling lawbreakers, "It costs too much to steal." Laws that protect the guilty encourage crime. Laws that protect thieves encourage theft.

Something is seriously wrong when the law encourages lawbreakers and discourages victims. Something is seriously wrong when the law rewards the guilty and punishes the innocent. Something is seriously wrong when the law tells victims, "It costs too much to fight."

U. S. House Judiciary Committee member Barney Frank of Massachusetts has articulated why zero tolerance of copyright infringement is essential: "If we do not see that authors and composers and singers and musicians and other creative people are rewarded for their work, not only is that unfair to many of us, but the amount of work we get will diminish.

"There may be some people fortunate enough to be able to create out of love without regard to compensation. We cannot depend only on the independently wealthy to be our creative people. We must fully protect "intellectual property, which is essential to the creative life of America, to the quality of our life, because if we do not protect the creators, there will be less creation."

Creation is job-generating. One of my greatest satisfactions as an author and publisher is knowing that my work has created jobs for graphic artists and printers and shippers and retailers and others and has contributed millions of dollars to the United States economy from a little office in Rockford, Ill.

One of my greatest frustrations in pursuing infringers is knowing how devastating their behavior has been for my work and the jobs my work would otherwise create.


For more information, check out http://www.johngile.com.