"work" or are they considered to be something else. Jane Smith has more to say on "copyright and theft" at http://howpublishingreallyworks.com/?p=3636#comment-23543 - well worth reading as are the links that she provides to the COB Nicola Morgan and David Hewson. Off you go.
Right. Most people who breach copyright would not dream of stealing a plant from a garden centre or anything from anywhere else. They are otherwise honest people. When it comes to stealing words though they somehow think of it as "different". Words are not considered to be "work" by many people. It is probably why so few writers actually write for a living. They have "real" jobs instead and "just write on the side", after all writing is not work is it? Writing is a hobby. Nobody actually needs to do it. If you are doing something for the fun of it why should you be paid for it?
Is that how people think? I do not know but I rather suspect it might be. People simply do not see writing as real work. They may not think they could write a book themselves. They may see it as "difficult" but they still do not consider writing to be "work". Why would anyone do it if they did not enjoy it? If you are enjoying something then why should you be paid to do what you enjoy? If you are paid for it why should you be paid very much?
The other problem is that it is easy to make an exact copy of a piece of writing. It is not seen as unique in the way that a painting is considered unique. If you are paid once why should you be paid again? Is that the way people see it?
Writing is work of course. It can be very hard work. It took Cynthia Harnett about two years to research each one of her detailed historical novels for children. Emma Darwin does similar sort of research for her adult books. Other writers research music, lighthouses, nuclear physics, cartography, maritime law and so on. You need to do this or someone somewhere will tell you that you are wrong. They will tell you that you are wrong anyway but it is more likely to happen if you do not do the research first.
It is not just research either. There are characters that try to take over, plots that try to insist on a different direction, agents who point out blunders, publishers who want something you hold dear cut altogether.
Writing is not fun. It is done because it needs to be done. Writing is a life sentence with no time off for good behaviour.
I suspect we do not really value words. Perhaps it is because they are an essential, everyday commodity.