Wir sind Urheber! = We create

There are words in German, you could think they are not made for the human mouth. One of them is "Urheberrechtsgesetz". Like many other unpronounceable words it hides a very reasonable and even nice meaning: "law for the rights of creators' ", or something like that. I hope you get the idea. 

This idea, and its implementation, celebrates this year its 50th anniversary in Germany. 50 years in which this law has allowed many creators to make a living out of their work, to pay a rent, to own a car, to bring up their children. And to go on vacation, that too. This law protects us and our work making it possible for us to sell the rights of use, the potential worth in every new song, drawing, photograph..., as we find convenient and the market is ready to pay. 

50 years ago it was not so easy as it is today, to take and use the result of our work. You could not illegally and with a click download a song or an image. It was possible to copy but you had to put more effort into it. The internet has made so many good things possible, I am truly thankful for it. But among the bad things that it has brought to us is the concept that many have, that everything that is out there and can be taken so easily, actually belongs to us, to everybody. We don't see the effort and the hours somebody put in creating it, the fact that they used their time to compose that song or draw that illustration instead of doing something else, the fact that if they do not get paid for it, they would need to go to do another job.

We would then run the risk of having a world with videos of cats instead of proper films, because nobody is going to invest in the financial adventure of creating a movie for months or years (if you are thinking about millionaires, think about the "normal" jobs they create in the film industry, in the independent films they finance with their blockbusters) if the people who watch it are going to make pirate copies of it. It is only fair, that if we want to enjoy something, we pay to the people who created it the price they ask for. If it is too much for us, we just don't buy it, like with the apples in the farmers' market. And if someone uses the internet just to show their work, not to sell it, we don't have any right to take it. It is like a car on the street: we could go and take it for ourselves, but it is not right.

Anyway. The Illustratoren Organisation celebrates this 50th anniversary and encourages us, "Urheber", to bring out the message and to show our faces. The faces behind the drawings you meet in your everyday life. Meet my colleagues in the gallery! Oh, and if you are an illustrator yourself don't miss this fantastic film.