As digital technology continues to advance, so do cases of intellectual property theft. This white-collar crime occurs across many different types of media, from art to music.
According to the National Crime Prevention Council, intellectual property theft may occur at both state and federal levels, and while this crime may not seem as grave as others, it can still have a negative effect on the independent artists who created their properties, no matter the type.
A loss of profit
When creative individuals have their intellectual property stolen and sold elsewhere, it can have a significant effect on the potential profits they stand to make. Even if artists identify theft, the loss of profit that already occurred is usually considerable.
Loss of self-esteem
Artists who endure the theft of their art may suffer a loss of self-esteem as their work appears on websites or social media. Since the identity of the artist is usually omitted or changed by the thief, the artist may feel invisible or suffer feelings of anxiety or depression, along with reduced self-esteem, as the stolen property continues to spread via social media sharing.
Loss of commercial identity
Artists who create digital media, such as music and art, cannot thrive on their work if they lose their commercial identity through the theft of their works. People who discover the stolen work under another individual’s name may credit them if they share the music or art, omitting the commercial identity of the creator and his or her potential to grow an audience.
Intellectual property theft can also affect the families and employees of the original artist, who may experience financial loss along with the creator.