Volunteering And Intellectual Property Rights

IMG_1394If you're still struggling, with the idea of volunteer rights just imagine instead of volunteering, you've asked someone to make you a cake.

You say, “Hey, would you like to make me a cake for our bake sale?” and they go, “Oh yes, I would LOVE to make a cake for the cause! Thank  you for the opportunity!” Then you know they want to make a cake.

If you say, “Hey, would you like to make me a cake?” and they are like um and ahh and say, “I’m not really sure…”

Then they might make you a cake or not, but be aware that if they do make the cake they might decide not to give it to you – especially if you haven't paid for the ingredients or the cost of baking it.  Now this is the important bit - don't threaten them with court because you want the cake.  Just because you had the conversation, it doesn't mean you're entitled to make them give it to you.

If they say, “No, thank you, I think I'll keep the cake”, then don't try to force them to give you the cake or make you another one. Just walk away, don't force them to make you a cake and don't threaten them at all!  Don't give them a recipe, don't make them mix the ingredients, don't get annoyed with them for not wanting to make the cake, bake it or ice it. They just don't want to give you a cake – okay?

They might say, “Yes, please, that’s a good idea of yours,” and then when the day of the bake sale arrives they actually don’t want to make the cake or give it you at all.

Sure, that’s kind of annoying as you’ve gone to the effort of arranging a space for them to display the cake at the bake sale with all the rest, but they remain under no obligation to give you the cake.

They did want to give you a cake, now they don’t. Sometimes people change their mind in the time it takes to organise the sale, get a pitch, lay out a tablecloth and provide information on the cost of the cakes. And it’s okay for people to change their mind because we live in a democracy, and you are still not entitled to take the cake out of their bag, or threaten them with court because you want the cake, even though you went to the trouble of organising the bake sale.

If they are under stress financial, social or emotional don't put extra pressure on them to make the cake, stressed people don't want to make cakes.

Okay, maybe they had lots of spare time, money and support when you asked them if they wanted to make the cake, and they said yes, but in the time it took you IMG_1409organise the sale, get a pitch, lay out a tablecloth and provide information on the cost of the cakes they were too stressed. You should just put the bake sale details down, make sure the cake maker is safe, and — this is the important bit — don't threaten them with court.

If someone said yes then to making a cake, started making it and then became ill before they'd finished it, don’t keep on sending them increasingly threatening messages demanding the cake.  All people don't want to make cakes.  Trust me on this.

If someone said “yes” to making cakes around your house last Saturday, that doesn't mean that they want to make cakes for you all the time. They don’t want you to come around unexpectedly to their place and wait for that cake to be made, and force them to keep making more going, “BUT YOU WANTED TO MAKE ME A CAKE LAST WEEK,” or to wake up in the middle of the night to find you pushing a recipe book and an apron into their hands going “BUT YOU WANTED TO MAKE CAKE LAST NIGHT.”

Suppose the cake you wanted them to make was special because it was their own personal recipe. They have made those cakes for years and they are the highlight of every bake sale so you've asked for the recipe but they don’t want to give it to you. This is really important - don’t stand over them with the threat of court in one hand and a ‘voluntary agreement’ for them to sign over their rights in the other going….’but that recipe is ours you've been trying to pass those cakes off as your own every time that you've sold it at our bake sale’.

If you can understand how absolutely ludicrous it is to force people to make cake when they don’t want to make cake and you’re able to understand when people don’t want to make cake. Then how hard it is to understand volunteer rights and intellectual property.  Whether it’s volunteering, intellectual property and copy right or making cakes - consent is everything.

Sonia Thompson

Adapted from Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess ‘Tea–Consent’

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