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The Connect: Can I Stop People From Recycling My Ideas?

There’s a time and place for everything in all things blogging so I’ve come to the conclusion it’s time to address the jackaz of all trades. Coming from a huge advocate for entrepreneurial moves with all things considered, I’m starting to find it very disturbing that this generation is of the “Monkey See…Monkey Do.” For some reason we cannot wait for a creation to manifest only so we can borrow or steal, then recycle it as if it is our very own. There was a time when people took pride in being the first, the one, and the only. Now it’s kind of the cool thing to take all and run with it. Then we whole heartedly accept it. But wait–it’s not about who did it first, it’s about who did it better–there’s some but not all truth to this. There are always exceptions but blatancy doesn’t fall under this category. I remember getting in touch and hearing from, “Yung Onyx” back in the MySpace days. They had no problem with my name and actually said they loved it! For several reasons I can be led to believe it was because of the following: we had dialogue, I was R&B versus Hip Hop, and it became my nickname early on after its meaning as a rare gem; or black diamond. Not the infamous rap group (Not the strip clubs either). I’ve pretty much had everything from my radio broadcasts formats & show name, to lyrics, to t-shirts, to now even my own blogs taken right from underneath me. This week’s email I received that displayed one of my articles being “recreated” was kind of my final blow. So how do you stop people from recycling your ideas and making them their own? The bitter truth is you unfortunately can’t or at least not without a fight. None the less, take a moment to scan the following below to ensure you’re getting your just due.

• Research. Yes, research. Take some time out to look around a bit. Before I generate anything I try to make sure to google with a fine tooth comb. I want to be sure that there is nothing like mine or that what I am preparing or creating isn’t already out, available to the masses. This includes perhaps the name of your single or your stage name. How annoying to have so many songs with the same title, under & within the same category.

• Business. Copyrights, Trademarks, & Patents. Depending upon what the product is or how it’s being presented one or all may be necessary. The paperwork can be quite extensive so I would recommend consulting with someone who is qualified, as well as having experience with such documents. Also, although you are on the right track, please note that saying you have a Tax ID isn’t enough. For some odd reason people are beginning to think this is the end all be all. There are certain permits, licenses, and certifications needed for you to legitimately be doing and remain in business.

• Have the conversation when it’s deemed necessary. Sometimes it does call for a healthy communicative dialogue. We can’t both throw a Southern Central Splash Summer Fest & call it just that. Especially when I’ve invested in flyers, radio advertisements & more. This could be considered a form of infringement hence it displays someone is using the marketing tools of one event, to push its own agenda of furthering sales for an entirely different event. Grab a dictionary and switch it up.

• Stop posting and talking to those not involved. If you didn’t list out your entire plan than people wouldn’t have an opportunity to swoop thru before you could execute it. I actually hate seeing people say, “Watch what’s about to happen,” or “I’m on the phone with so & so we just talked about getting this or that done.” No, no, and no. Just get it done first! You might have had the best non profit idea with a celebrity endorsement but because you spilled it all, someone with longer pockets and a bigger reach beat you to it. Special thanks to you because they didn’t even have to research for sellers. They took the person you screenshot you had a call with and had the press release the following week.

• Verbal & Written Agreements. These didn’t used to always hold up in court well but from what I can see lately, they seem to be doing just fine. If someone is rightfully entitled to a situation and you are trying to cookie cutter them out, you may want to make sure there’s no paper trail to follow. It’s enough to at least begin the preceding or worth an attorney looking into further.

• Work harder. This is my absolute favorite one of them all. You are not the only person who writes music, blogs, starting a clothing line, or any form of business. My only question these days is who isn’t? However…just because you are not the only one who uses certain words, doesn’t mean you didn’t coin the phrase so to speak. It may even have stemmed back further than when you made its intial use, so yes there are two things that can help you to solidify your point. Paperwork of course, and then ensuring your work stands above and aside the rest. With these factors you can increase your chances of at least being known as the Don Dada (s/o to AlpokoDon) of it all. This is quite flattering to say the least.

Moral. Haters gon’ hate. Nah…that’s not it. Cheaters never prosper? Nope, still not it. Let’s just say this much. You are the Alpha and Omega of your business endeavors. You are the King or Queen to this ish. You are the original and there’s none like you. You can do all things thru—look here, if you did it before, then my G, you can do it again! It is certainly okay for others to be inspired. We prove to ourselves daily thru social media that great minds think alike. But this is only cliche and given when each person has actually decided to use their mind. Imagine that. No matter how much money or great the individual is, they are only as exceptional as their next carbon copy. Sometimes that alone is enough and it can be very disappointing. If I could leave you with any advice or motivation as it relates to the “lurk & copy crew,” just know that you will always have the upper hand. Only now you just have to start acting like it. It’s time that you get up off your feet, get out here in these streets, and go get what’s yours!

(Birdman & Breakfast Club I love you for this lol)

Onyx• Queen of Killeen| Songwriter | Music Professional | Executive Producer & Host of Jermaine Dupri’s Global 14 the Cut | 2014 SEA Internet Hustler of the Year

(C) May 2016
(P) May 2016

Did someone try to “stick you for your paper?” Feel free to share how you handled it in the comments below.

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