Wednesday, May 25, 2005

How much do you know about intellectual property?

I've spent the last two days at a conference on intellectual property in the global marketplace. Did you know that in this country owning intellectual property (i.e. copyrights, trademarks, patents, etc.) is considered the same as owning tangible objects (i.e. cars, houses, land, and so forth)? How many of you think it's OK to shoplift? Take your friend's car? Then why in the world is it OK to use the internet to take music, software, or video?

One of the basic foundations of our wonderful country is the protection of innovation. Our founding Fathers incorporated such protections directly into the constitution. If we begin to erode the basic fundamentals of protection of intellectual property, then we undermine the very cause of our success!

On the moral side, a lot of internet downloading is STEALING...just as much as shoplifting or car theft. Let us not forget, or rationalize, "Thou shalt not steal."


At 11:08 AM, Blogger Tyler said...

Further complicating the task is the difficulty of enforcement. How do you shut down a server in a foregin land that is sharing your patented design all over the world? And what do you about places like China, which just ignore copyrights and patents when it is inconvenient?

And how do you convince a person, a society or a government that does not believe in morals to act morally?

At 12:53 PM, Blogger j.m. said...

Actually, yes, I did know that ideas are considered tangible. Don't ask me how I knew, but I knew that's the way it worked.

At 1:03 PM, Blogger Nathan said...

Speaking of China, there was an interesting discussion focussing on them.

Seriously, the main problem seems to be their communistic heritage in that intellectual property is treated a lot like the ideas/innovation of an individual benefitting the group. They don't see a need to enforce their own intellectual property laws.

At 1:33 PM, Blogger Nathan said...

Another thing to note is that counterfeit goods are now superseding the drug trade in funding organized crime worldwide. This money is also being traced to terrorist organizations.

At 2:10 PM, Blogger Tyler said...

China doesn't worry about anybody's copyright laws. I vaguely remember there being some trade tension between the US and China over copyright infringement during the last year of Clinton's second term.


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