Copyrights: Intellectual Property and Technological Challenges The Government and many other agencies around the world are continuously at work to improve protections for intellectual property rights and the enforcement of intellectual property laws. In today’s age of digital madness, passing legislation and actually enforcing of those laws becomes a very daunting task. However, the protection of intellectual property has both individual and social benefits. It protects the right of the creator of something of value to be compensated for what he or she has created, and by so doing; it encourages production of valuable, intangible, creative work In order to understand the difficulties surrounding the laws associated with intellectual property an understanding of the term is needed. The Louisiana State Bar Association defines intellectual property as the product of someone’s mental efforts. It is usually intangible, and its value lies in its appeal to others who might wish to use it or the goods it describes.
Intellectual property can be covered and categorized into three separate protective laws; those include copyrights, patents and trademarks. The true key to understanding intellectual property protection is to understand that the thing protected is the intangible creative work, not the particular physical form in which it is embodied (Baase, 2003, p. 235).
Intellectual Property - Business Law 1) Intellectual property is creations of ones mind, which can be divided in two general categories: Industrial Property and Copyright. Industrial Property mostly consists ... , architectural and musical works. 2) In order for individual or organization to acquire intellectual property, the owner of the property must be willing to ...
This paper will discuss the ideas and laws behind copyrights as intellectual property along with the daunting task of protecting that property in a digital age where piracy seems to be commonplace. The fair-use laws and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998 will also be covered, along with the challenges faced by those who choose to use the fair-use laws for educational purposes, and the impact that the DMCA has had on this law. Finally this paper will discuss what can be learned from having a basic understanding of copyright laws and the impact on world economics that the breaking of these laws could possibly cause.
Examining intellectual property can spark the old argument that standing is more tiring than walking paradox, how do you differentiate between an idea and a creative expression. Copyrights protect a creative expression, which is the expression, selection, and arrangement of ideas. The boundary between an idea and the expression of an idea is often not clear (Baase, 2003, p. 236).
Most people would argue that there in lies the paradox, that an expression is an idea and that an idea is an expression.
As you can tell, defining and creating legislation for intellectual property is not a simple task. As the constitution indicates, the purpose of copyright is to encourage production of useful work. Copyright law and court decisions have attempted to define the rights of authors and publishers consistent with this goal and the goal of encouraging the use and flow of information (Baase, 2003, p. 236).
Electronic media has made the protection of intellectual property very difficult. The advent of the World Wide Web and almost every form of digital media that we can dream of exists today. Storage capacity is at an all time high, personal computers have become blazing ly fast, scanners, compression tools, and digital images all make the protection of copyrights very difficult. Distribution of copied materials is as easy as clicking a button on a mouse. Digital compression formats make the reproduction and distribution of music and movies easy for even the most novices of computer users. These types of compression formats even allow for an almost perfect reproduction of the original format and clarity of video and sound.
Having access to this type of technology can turn even the most innocent of computer users into criminals at almost the touch of a button. The fair use doctrine was written in 1976, the notion of fair use grew from judicial decisions. The fair use doctrine allows uses of copyrighted material that contribute to the creation of new work and uses that are not likely to deprive authors or publishers of income for their work. Fair uses do not require the permission of the copyright holder (Baase, 2003, p. 241).
... their own ideas. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TITLE 17 - COPYRIGHTS //www4.law.cornell.edu ... to claim the digital music arena as ... analysis on the issue of fair use and liability). -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- By ... copyright is may be summed up as: 3.1 [...] a type of property ...
The fair use doctrine lists four factors that help determine whether a particular use is fair use or not.
They are listed in the textbook as follows: 1. The purpose and nature of the use. 2. The nature of the copyright work. 3.
The amount and significance of the portion used. 4. The effect of the use on the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. It is usually a combination of the following factors that determine if something falls under the fair use laws, but the most common of the used four factors is the last one.
If your use impacts the ability of the copy righter to make money, than most likely it will not fall under the fair use law. In 1998 congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that prohibits the making, distribution, or using of tools to circumvent technological copyright protection systems used by copyright holders (Baase, 2003, p. 240).
Most people believe that money talks in congress, and the result of big corporations lobbying on congresses doorstep is what helped the DMCA get approved and written into law.
Educators above all else feel the sting of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act more than any other industry. The biggest challenge to copyright laws and other doctrines is to try and maintain a fair balance between protecting the rights of the owners and their ability to make money on their intellectual property and the rights of the users to fair and just treatment when choosing to use a certain product. Several famous court cases have tested the waters when dealing with copyright laws. Sony vs. Universal City Studios in which two movie studios sued Sony for contributing to copyright infringement because some customers used its Betamax video cassette recording machines to record copyrighted movies shown on television.
... the midst of the lawsuits and the controversy surrounding Napster and digital copyright laws, the Internet user must determine how to ethically ... the free distribution of copyrighted music over the Internet is that people who trade music on Napster are already music lovers ... could do to the struggling musician. Most people who use Napster are already people who are familiar with the Internet and ...
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Sony stating that an ephemeral copy of the movie for viewing at a later time was not a copyright infringement that the likelihood of economic harm was not a reality. On the issue of legitimacy of the Betamax machine, the Court said makers of a device with substantial legal use should not be penalized because some people use it to infringe copyrights (Baase, 2003, p. 243).
The case of Napster is also another groundbreaking court case in the fair use of copyright laws. The Napster case is important for many reasons. The fact that so many people participated in an activity that courts decided was illegal is an indication of how new technology challenges existing law and attitudes about what is and is not acceptable (Baase, 2003, p.
A legal copy for personal use of any digital resource is legal according to law; Napster’s biggest argument was that people were sharing songs by using their service, but that all copies of the songs they were sharing were legal copies for personal, non-commercial use. Napster argued that it did not keep actual copies of peoples songs on their servers but instead provided a service that listed the songs available on another persons personal computer system. Napster argued that its service was more like a search engine and that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protects search engines against any and all copyright laws because they are only producing information that is available on a digital medium. The court however did rule in favor of the recording industry stating that Napster did have the ability to monitor and supervise their system, including any trading of copyrighted materials. The biggest argument against Napster was the fact that they were a business and that they were making a profit off of their service, therefore they were hindering the ability of the owners of the copyrighted material to make money off of their intellectual property.
The actual future of copyright laws is uncertain at this point. The implementation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) will only continue to hinder the fair use law and will most likely increase the willingness of people to participate in breaking copyright laws. Corporations such as the music industry and the movie industry will quickly realize that consumers eventually get tired of being slapped on the wrist for obeying the law, and this is basically what the DMCA has done to people that actually follow the fair use laws. The actual impact of boycotting the industry would be an economic disaster.
... creation of the Internet. Congress passed some new copyright laws in 1998, including digital anti-piracy measures (to prevent removal or ... of copyright violations. For example, Napster.com is currently being sued for providing the means for individuals to violate copyright laws by ... .com/basic/basic/scope.html Benedict.com. (2000). The Fair Use Test. [Online] Available: //www.benedict.com/basic ...
This will most likely never happen, but Congress is posed with a great task in front them. The first step towards ensuring copyrights and fair use laws would be to ban the use of technology that is produced for the sole purpose of circumventing copyrights. Congress should then either redefine the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or do away with it completely. Infringement on copyright laws will never completely disappear but managing the problem without stepping on the toes of the owners or the consumer can definitely be accomplished with the right application and redefinition of copyright laws and the fair use doctrine. A new digital age calls for new types of protection without overstepping the boundaries of what is fair and what is not. ReferencesBaase, S.
A Gift of Fire: Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues for Computers and the Internet. 2 nd Ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.