Copyright infringement is a serious matter at all companies – especially design based companies. At my company we are design for fall 2014, design based firms work ahead of the retail market. If there were to be leaks of any sort, competitors could easily imitate designs. When signing my internship weaver it was made very clear that no details about designs could be taken from the workroom, or even talked about outside of work. However, today while printing from one of my employers desks – as requested – I accidentally saw an email from the HR department titled problems with interns! This was alarming to me and I was extremely nervous, although I knew that I had done nothing wrong.
In my department there are four interns and it has been clear for some time that one in particular is not fully committed to the job. It came to my attention, along with all of the other interns, that this one particular intern had been stealing hardware samples. I was shocked that an intern would blow such a huge opportunity just for a couple of buckles and straps. The reasoning behind the stealing was that the intern entered them into a competition claiming that the designs were original. This created a large-scale dilemma for my company.
It was then explained to us that before designs are actually in production they are not copyrighted and can be copied by competing firms, if these firms get their hands on them. The samples that were compromised were still prototypes and are not in production yet. It is still undetermined what is going to happen with the intern but I can imagine that their future is bleak. Moral of the story do not jeopardize your internship, take full advantage of it and realize that there are other people who wanted your position.