Creativity comes in many forms, but if there's one thing that encompasses
them all it's the proprietorial feeling you get from having created
Be it a song, a painting, a garden, a novel...or even a decent pie
- there's a sense that it's 'yours'. Even when you fling the object
of your creativity out into the world (which gets a bit messy in
the case of pies and gardens) for all to see, you still retain that
sense that a part of you goes out with it. In the case of pies this
could be somewhat unfortunate.
Now, I wouldn't consider myself to be all that creative - I simply
write down the first thing that comes into my head. I then erase
it and write down the second thing that comes into my head.
Even so, I gain a sense of achievement from it - some small satisfaction,
and a rather curious feeling of having emptied my head of some thoughts
in order to make way for new ones.
Understandably I'm inclined to be a little protective of my jottings.
It therefore concerned me when I received a few emails asking me
about the identity of a sax that had been put up for auction on
ebay. Upon examining the auction I was extremely surprised to see
that the seller had lifted an entire review page from this site,
jiggled it about a bit, and was using it as a means to defraud people
of money. It wasn't so much that the pictures had been used - it
was more the words, used without accrediting the source. Worse still,
the seller had seen fit to chuck in a few badly spelt 'additions'.
I felt, too, a sense of responsibility - that my words were being
used in a scam, to rip people off...the irony being that the reviews
are there to prevent people from making costly mistakes. I decided
to act, and headed off to Ebay central to inform them of this heinous
But I soon found myself caught up in a frustrating circle.
Ebay has a means of letting them know about fraudulent auctions,
but in order to do so you have to be a member. As this was an issue
relating to my business rather than my personal Ebay pastimes, I
wanted to contact them in my capacity as the 'guvnor' of this establishment...but
as I wasn't a member there didn't appear to be any way of doing
so. Every time I got close to my destination I'd be hit with a screen
asking me to sign in.
Eventually I ended up having a 'live chat' with someone whom I assumed
had something to do with the running of the service. I had a decent
enough moan, and was able to have them intervene and pull the auction
I was then surprised to find yet more emails coming in informing
me of a similar ruse.
Exactly the same format - so presumably the same person...so again
I trawled over to Ebay to find someone to have another moan at.
This time though I emailed the seller, with a spurious query regarding
the auction...I later sent a suitably snotty email off to him, which
was rather satisfying.
This particular auction came as a surprise to someone else too -
one of my clients...who owned the horn in question!
We'd clearly both decided to act at the same time, because as I
was ringing him to ask if he knew anything about the auction he
was ringing me to ask exactly the same thing.
But out of all this disgraceful business came a rather nice surprise.
Quite a few people had stumbled across the auction and recognised
the pictures as having come from my site...but quite a few people
had recognised the words.
I can imagine that, in some small way, it's a bit like a songwriter
hearing someone pass by in the street, singing one of their songs.