Can Ideas get stolen?

So I saw that cute animation on facebook. A young man sitting on a bench with his smartphone and eating cookies. In the next scene, you see an old lady buying cookies and taking a seat on the same bench.

She gets really upset because the guy is eating her cookies and even has the nerve to offer her one!

Later she finds out, that it was HIS cookies and that he just wanted to be nice to her. Moral of the story: don’t judge.

As I saw this cute animation, it reminded me of a poem, read by Dr. Wayne Dyer in one of his speeches. It was basically the same story. My first thought was: They stole this story and probably nobody knows that, because this speech of Wayne Dyer is really old (maybe from the 80’ies- yes that’s old now!)

So I looked at the comments and I was shocked at first and then laughed! There were over 2000 comments and a great number of people knew this story already from somewhere else. I started typing that the ORIGINAL one is a poem and that Wayne Dyer read it, but I forgot the authorĀ (Sorry guys. I just remember it was a woman and it is a great and funny poem!). But then it hit me: what if this poem was already a copy of that story? What if nobody here was right and this true author is long forgotten?

The next question is: Is it really important to trace a good idea back to its original thinker? Can an Idea be under copyright? With the internet and our level of globalization- is our thinking of copyright still realistically? Is it practical?

I have my own opinion about that, but I would like to have a discussion with you. What are your thoughts about this topic? Did someone ever steal your ideas, content or something like that?

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