Copyrights: Intellectual Property and Technology
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
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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 blazingly fast, scanners, compression tools, and digital imagers 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). 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 copyrighter 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)...