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Intellectual Property Theft

Creative Gist: Have You Ever Experienced Intellectual Property Theft?

Every end product – a song, script, logo design, brand name, or poem, does not exist because of just one final decision. Each end product results from days, weeks, months and sometimes, years of processes and efforts. Some products are masterpieces that require unpleasant sacrifices and physical pain. As such, it would be terrible if you ever experienced intellectual property theft as a creative.

Today’s Creative Gist explores the topic of copyright infringement, the damages it incurs, and how creatives handle the situation. Read on as five creatives share their experiences on the question prompt; have you ever experienced intellectual property theft?

Olivia Crown

Product/Project Manager

Yes, I have experienced intellectual property theft twice. In one of those cases, I designed some things for some guys. They took my idea and designs and gave them to someone else to recreate. I decided to take the case to a lawyer, but he said that proving ownership of creative work in court is quite tricky. So, instead, he provided preventive measures that are not quite a solution but could protect my intellectual property in future. He also said we could take it to court, which can be futile because such cases usually linger for a long time. So, I let it go and learnt from the experience. Now, I know better ways to prevent being in such a situation again.

Gabriel Ohalete

Content Strategist

Yes, I have experienced intellectual property theft before when a colleague stole my idea. Believe me, I wanted to scream bloody murder. However, I work in a corporate environment, so I waited until the presentation day and called in sick. So the guy had to present alone, and it was a majestic flop. I redid the presentation a week later, got approval and was made the project lead.

Ajilogba Aisha

Fashion Expert

Yes, I once experienced intellectual property theft. A friend tried to steal my creative work on a project I was working on. It wasn't funny because I found out after she submitted it. I was at a point where I didn't want any drama in my life, so I didn't report it. However, I openly confronted her and told her it wasn't nice at all. She apologised, but I kept my distance from that point onwards.

Omomo Perez


I am a songwriter and sometimes post my song lyrics on my status. One day, a guy stole one of my songs, and I asked how he got it. At first, he said he wrote it. Then I showed him mine, which I did way before he wrote his. After I proved this to him, he apologised and promised not to use it. I told him to always give me credit or acknowledge that the work is mine if he uses my intellectual property. I can't stop people from sharing my work, but the least they can do is add my name as the writer as a form of credit or recognition.

Achalugo Nwa'yioma

Web Designer

While I can't really say someone committed intellectual property theft against me, I recall a colleague copying my original idea completely. The worst part is that she made it seem like it was her idea originally. When I found out, I reported her to our boss, who considered the incident unimportant, and swept it under the rug. I was just hurt.

Protect Your Intellectual Property


Copyright infringement isn’t just a legal offence but also a moral one because there’s a profound disregard for one’s efforts and sweat. Unfortunately, copyright infringement is one of the most complicated cases to judge or win without evidence. In most cases, the wronged party is no famous celebrity like Oga Sabinus, whose talent management sued Peak and Gala for copyright infringement in 2022. The case gained traction thanks to Oga Sabinus’ popularity. Usually, the regular creative needs to have undeniable evidence to get justice. Even Oga Sabinus’ case lacked sufficient legal grounds to win. As such, you must always guide your intellectual property (IP) and adequately document your creative processes, as evident in this 2020 IP case won by the complainant.

Read more about copyright infringement and protecting your IP here. In the meantime, have you ever experienced intellectual property theft? How did you handle the situation? Tell us in the comments.

PS. If you would like to contribute as a respondent in the future episodes of the Creative Gist, send us an email to [email protected] or reach us via WhatsApp +2348088809311

Deborah Alfred

Deborah Alfred is a content writer, UX writer, and copywriter. A published author, she is the founder and community leader of WriterPreneurs' World, a writing community of over 2000 people. She employs simple yet effective writing and storytelling techniques that draw and capture her audience. Her moniker, Insightful Parrot, is a testament to her ability to see minute details that are usually oblivious to others and can improve any situation.

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