It’s Not Stealing

Home improvement, decorative and DIY writers everywhere, can we please stop sticking the word “steal” into article titles? As in “5 ideas to steal.”

First, it’s not stealing. Here’s a conventional definition of steal from Google:

“take (another person’s property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it.”

Ideas are not property. Implementation is, sure. The US Patent Office has a lot to say about that, copyright, and fair use. And any of Rich Stim’s Nolo intellectual property books can point you in the right direction in plain English. But ideas and inspiration are not property, and so cannot be stolen.

Second, it’s tedious to have every single tip article shout “XXX DIY ideas to steal.” Seriously, it’s been done. Maybe it was a juicy way to get some attention for awhile but now?

Third, it doesn’t get my attention because I do not self-identify as a thief. In fact, I avoid thieves and their activities. There’s really nothing hip about this “clever” twist on a generally pejorative word.

Is this just me? Does it bug anyone else? Please feel free to steal this complaint and reuse it.