How to keep your art from getting stolen

A quick background on the new economy...

The new economy thrives off sharing. What doesn't get shared gets lost into obscurity. The more we share something, the more valuable it becomes.

Think of link you click on Facebook. Pages you like. Content you share. The more other people are interacting with it, the more you want to interact with it.

Sharing is winning these days.

The fact that both dogs want the stick makes it more valuable. I kinda want it too now...

The fact that both dogs want the stick makes it more valuable. I kinda want it too now...

So how do you prevent people from stealing your stuff?

You don't.

The same open source beauty of the internet makes it easier than ever to grab someone's stuff. There are workarounds to any precaution you take.

Here's another secret: any attempt you make to keep people from stealing your stuff makes it harder to share. All the roadblocks you put up keep it from getting shared. Which makes it less valuable.

Instead of trying to keep people from sharing your stuff, make it easier to share. Half the time the stuff we're trying to protect is useless anyways. Even if people could to steal it (they can), they wouldn't.

Focus on making your art better. Recognize that somebody will steal and use it. It's how humanity progresses. By building off the work of others to push the boundaries. 

A better strategy to winning with your art is incorporate yourself into it. I'm creating PDF versions of my blog posts. People can share the PDF with anyone they want. I throw my contact info and website onto the PDF so people can find me. This way I tear down any barriers to my work.

With my podcast, people recognize it's me conducting the interview. They might use an individual show for profit (and I'd be flattered if they did). But I benefit in the end. The person paying for the content recognizes I'm the voice behind the show.

Even if I'm not paid 100% of what I deserve, does it matter? I like to think I'm in it to make a difference. I'm developing ways to earn money from my work. Only because I need money in the current system. 

Hopefully the stolen work encourages the difference I'm trying to make. 

Over time as people share more content from this site, some sign up for the email list. This way I build my following and my tribe. By sharing my work freely I develop my audience over time. People interested in the message follow the work and are there to support it when I release paid offerings.

That's the key to winning as an artist in today's economy. By creating great work, sharing it, and giving people a way to support your work.

Make your work more shareable, put your name on it, and release it to the wild.

Wash, rinse, and repeat. Watch as your work ripples out into the world.