Dear Steve, great artists never steal.

Without writing a whole mess of words here, I want to reference this page from Quote Investigator. It’s the meat behind this blurb.

Once you’ve read it or at least skimmed it, I’d like you to take note of the correlation between todays generation of people and what Steve Jobs has turned that phrase, “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” into. Besides the fact that it wasn’t Picasso who founded the quote, nor were those even the right words- it’s worth noting that Jobs manipulated the intent of whatever it was into something that is backwards with being a decent human being and somehow also is acceptable in todays society.

It’s not OK and was never intended (before Jobs) that we accept whatever version of the quote to actually mean, “Good artists copy. Great artists abandon ethics, originality, ingenuity and virtue for the sake of making a cash cow and taking all the glory.”

I get it. Someone can devote a lot of brain power to creating something incredible with real value and it will never see the light of day. It happens all the time. It takes someone with the right vision and marketing aptness and chutzpah to make it come to life, let alone change lives. But those two things must mutually be ethically handled.

Please take a moment to think about how acceptable this has become and what it really means. How can a person ever take real credit or praise or even personal fulfillment in something if they are just thieves in a socially acceptable fashion? I mean, hey- if you want to take a collection of ideas and make the world a better place, by all means do it. But if you’re going to take the credit for those ideas or profit off of them without fair recompense, GTFO.

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