Intellectual Property: A Fight for Ideas
Intellectual property as defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy “is generally characterized as non-physical property that is the product of original thought” (Moore). According to the World Intellectual Property Organization “the rights in relation to: literary, artistic and scientific works; the performance of performing artist, phonograms and broadcasts; inventions in all fields of human endeavor; scientific discoveries; industrial designs; trademarks; service marks and commercial names and designations; and all other rights resulting from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary and artistic ...view middle of the document...
In order to rectify the issue U.S. Constitution Article I, Section 8 was written and enacted. This decision and consequent action resulted in all intellectual property laws being equal.
The forbearers saw the importance of protecting individual ideas and more importantly they saw the potential problems that would/could arise if people were allowed to at will copy others work. According to stopfakes.gov, “Intellectual property protection is critical to fostering innovation. Without protection of ideas, businesses and individuals would not reap the full benefits of their inventions and would focus less on research and development. Similarly, artists would not be fully compensated for their creations and cultural vitality would suffer as a result” ("Why is intellectual property important?"). It is clear to see that without stern intellectual property laws the economy the world over would be negatively affected. Additionally, advancement in most fields of industry would have been severely restricted. Without intellectual property laws individuals would lose the drive to invent and expand because as soon as their idea is realized it would/could be copied.
There are three main types of intellectual property laws that protect people’s ideas. The first and most familiar is the copyright. The second is patent laws. The third law protects trade secrets. Together these laws protect business owners and individuals alike, against what now would be considered thievery. Each has its own purpose and protects different aspects of intellectual property.
U.S. Code, Title 17, Chapter 1, lists what types of works are protected under copyright laws. The list includes literary works, musical works (including any accompanying words), dramatic works (including any accompanying music), pantomimes and choreographic works, pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works, motion pictures and other audiovisual works, sound recordings, and architectural works. Furthermore, “in no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work” ("17 U.S. Code § 102 - Subject matter of copyright: In general"). This means that no one can copyright how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Things that are considered common knowledge or the knowledge is readily available are not protected.
Under some circumstances certain works can be copied if the act of copying meets the guidelines for fair use. An example copy right infringement is the case between Basic Books, Inc. v. Kinko’s Graphics Corp. In this example Kinko’s decided to make copies of pages out of text books that Basic Books were selling. They intended to create “coursepacks” for students to purchase. The problem here is that Kinko’s intentions were not for educational purposes but rather commercial purposes....