Intellectual Property and
Intellectual property is any original creation by an
individual, and while that sounds simple enough, in todays world defining
an "original creation" can be pretty toughit may be an idea, a diary, a
song, a living organism or an automobile design. Intellectual property,
consequently, is a diverse and can be extremely controversial. The
difficulty stems from five main areas
- Debate over who holds the rights to work after the
death of the artist or inventor. When does intellectual property become
part of the public domain?
- The uncertain status of originality. If a musician combines many samples
of previous recordings, is the new recording original? What about the
rights of the previous artists?
- The prevalence of technology that makes it easy to copy any original.
Major film corporations are often accused of video piracy and at times,
pirated versions of films are often available before the original is even
- The incomplete nature of patenting and copyright. If you dont copyright
or patent your original creation according to law, are your rights
- Differences in culture and country. While it may be illegal to copy a
certain process or product in one country, the same copying may be
tolerated in another.
Issues related to intellectual property and the related
debates over the right to use or reproduce original creations permeate
through society, and are not only related to what you might consider as
traditional intellectual property and invention. The debate surrounding
free-music sharing websites is a current and well-known example of this.
Consider this: if all of the songs of your favourite Alberta singer were
available on the Internet for free, how would the artist be compensated
for their intellectual property? That is why record companies and major
music groups have made a point of trying to protect their rights
(ironically, the popularity of a song makes the chances of it being copied
all the more likely). It is clear that because of the ease of access to
all forms of intellectual property that our wired world provides, all
sectors of business, innovation and the arts, face major challenges
regarding intellectual property.
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