Intellectual Property Rights

(acasto) #1

I hope not to start a war or have this topic locked. However I believe it is a HUGE issue today with the popularity of the interent and relatively cheap electronic gizmos, and could either now or in the future affect most if not all of us here.

I have very strong opinions on this subject and have broken them down into different parts. I do believe that one has the right of say-so to a creation of theirs. However, how far does this say so go? My thoughts are that one can not own a concept or idea or method. These belong to the world. If someone was to write “see spot run”, they could then copyright that. But now days they could possible make a court battle as that the concept of ‘spot running’ is theirs as well.

I for one, like the business model of the linux company RedHat, their creation is free, however you must pay for the implementation. Each market has it’s own arguments. Take the music industry for example, they don’t like people downloading songs, however this argument could take many forms. One would be to look at the sales data and see if it is even having a negative affect to begin with. I believe that this helps them in ways of free advertising and expanding a market of followers that would otherwise not exsist. As for them complaining about people copying CDs, if someone breaks in your house, do you A: complain that people shouldn’t break in your house…or B: spend more on a security system or a gun. These companies have money and can afford innovation, so I think they should use it. Like they are complaining now about DVD copiers (and even the VCR a little while back), I believe this only inhibits society, by putting resrictions on conduct, instead of furthering their own technology and security.

Security companies will never be able to beat the hackers and crackers, I mean, they just beat the protection with a magic marker…come on!!! There is two sides to everything, of course in this world the side with the most money and lawyers is gonna win, or at least come closest. But that dosn’t change the fact that there will always be two sides, and one will end up being drivin by greed. How I look at intellectual property rights situations is, does it promote knowledge, intution, and general expansion of thought ? does it tangibly affect or harm the other party ? what is the balance and the predictable outcome of this course of action ?

People are entitled to their share of what they do, but where does it cross the line? then who decides where the line is? Sure there is right and wrong. It is wrong to steal, but where is the line drawn on intangible property? It would be easy to say it is wrong if someone steals a CD, but what about downloading it ? If it is in magnetic form, does it exsist, or is it just interpreted as exsisting? If that is the case, then what about thought. If you think about killing someone, that action exsists in your head as chemical and eletrical impulses, yet is it killing ?

I believe that the tangibility of intangible property would emerge once the actions of the ‘pirater’ caused noticable change or damage to the other party situation, or the ‘pirater’ benefitted ‘tangibly’ from the aquisition without having done anything for it. But like they say, if a tree falls, and no one hears it, did it make a sound?

(S68) #2

I preferred that “Who’s the ‘finest’ actress ever” thread better :smiley:

Intellectual property is a very difficult topic which is hard to discuss for non-lawyers.

If you discover something is because you worked hard and come out for a solution for a problem which couldn’t be solved as well or at all before. You must be able to patent your results and be rewarded for your efforts unless you decide not to do so.

If you create something and you want to sell it and there is people willing to buy it you must be protected in this right of yours. Others have the right not to purchase your product, if it’s bad.

Even web layouts, page and images, albeith freely available, are created by someone and are their exclusive intellectual property.

So you can re-use them only if the author grants the right. And he is in power to ask money for this, and you can reply him yes or no…

Ah yes, this message is my intellectual property and you can cite this as soon as you state that you are quting me.

Oh yes,

Anne Bancroft

shoud be on that actress list too


(acasto) #3

I just find it highly illogical that a single person can call a certain palcement of characters, numerals, and symbols their own. If they would realize, that the chances of their creation being truly unique and origional is very slim. How many things can one person think of in a day that haven’t been thought of before? But if you know this, then they were previously thought of. Thus no factual knowledge is unique and origional.

I believe that if all of us was to compare dreams, ambitions, and thoughts, there would be a lot of intellectual ‘cross-overs’, but when on paper ‘copyright violation’. I think that people want control in their lives, yet can not have it. What they have is merely and illusion. So by playing their own little god, humans gain a little control over the part of their world in which they created. To protect this world, although unique and origional only within their own illusion, humans developed the copyright.

There is a difference in using or listening to something, and calling it your own. If you take something of someone elses, and call it your own (giving no credit where due) then it becomes a lie. Copyright or not, it is a lie. But if you have something and no one knows what you have, then what do you have?

(SkyWriter) #4

apparently you haven’t had much original thought yet. wait until you’re older, it’ll come. and when it does, hey! maybe it’s worth protecting!

(Vidigiani) #5

Hey thanks S68, I liked that thread too :stuck_out_tongue:

My optinion:

I in some ways hate intellectual property. At most software development companies you can work at as soon as you write something the company instantly owns it, even if has nothing to do with the company’s current strategy and positioning. Blah! :frowning:

Anyway, I think we do need to be able to protect intellectual property. If you get rid of intellectual property then any Joe can go rip off an idea that a company has spent two years developing. Eventually, you kill commercialism; how can companies compete when other companies can steal their ideas in the next rev.

Basically. if this happened primarily in the software sector I could almost gaurantee you that it would go under. There would be heavy economic loss. The bottom line is, once companies start going over who is left to pick up the peices? Some “indies”. Well guess what… indies don’t have time or money to do two years or research and a couple years of implementation to make that nice new product. Linux generally steals from other well established products to try to streamline the development process.

And linux… Most large companies are being very careful how they approach it. For most of the reasons above. For one, if you develop something for linux thats great, but with the various OS kernel versions and configurations, your code is gauranteed to only run on the OS kernel that you developed for… so now you have to send your source so that end users can compile it… well now your source is out there for competitors to look at; without even needing to spend time to reverse engineer :).

Also, I think that Linux is protected by GPL or something, so that if you develop software for it, it has to be freely available. Someone correct me if I am wrong. Well… free software doesn’t bring home the bacon for anyone.

Just my opinions :).

(pofo) #6

You think intellectual property is hard, wait til true AI’s come along. Then we’ll get intelligent property too :-?

I say if I copy something that I never would have bought in any case and noone finds out about it, then who’s hurt by it. If the owner finds out on the other hand, he might be mighty pissed and then it would be wrong.
Or something like that.

  1. pofo

(stephen2002) #7

one way to think about it is…If you do manage to think of something that nobody has thought of before, you will want credit for it, right? You wouldn’t want your neighbor who has been overhearing you to suddenly go out and say “I thought of this all by myself!” when the person is really just repeating your thought.

Everybody wants credit for what they do in life. Otherwise, you dissapeare completly when you leave.

But then there is the issue…how do we know if two people really did think of the same concept by themselves or if one of those two people is coppying off the other?

It is a strange issue. And this debate is certantly not the first!

The entertainment industry will always quibble over copy protection. Just pray that they don’t have their way. If they have their way, people will be monitored and checked constantly. Every time you use or play back a song or a video, even just a clip, you will be charged. There will be no way around it, and if you do try to get around it, you will be found out and put in jail for life to make sure that you don’t ever do it again. You get the idea, they want complete control over how the material is used.

As for the software price issue…I think that they should have two levels of most software, a personal-use version (like most of us, just make little videos/stills for fun) and a commerical version (like the people at ILM, they make big bucks from the output of the software…and if they couldn’t buy it, would probably just make it themselves). That would reduce priacy, but you will never get rid of it.

Well babled long enough.

(S68) #8

Lack of intellectual (and material) property has a name, Communism, and Communist countries, where everithing belongs to the people and everyone is granted what he needs to live regardless of what they do have shown not to have an edge over states which are run according to Socialism or Capitalism (Hei! Socialism is not equivalent to Communism!)


(harkyman) #9

In the US, IP law is a balance between the need to protect the impetus for innovation (profit for your own work) and the good that new works can bring to society. For example, in the case of fictional or strictly written works (i.e. novels, biographies) the balance has been tipped toward protecting profit for the creator of the work. Thus, you can renew your copyright on your own works for as long as you live and indeed, if I remember correctly, your estate can do so into perpetuity if it cares to.

In the realm of invention, though, the balance has traditionally been more, well, balanced. Inventions pass into the public domain rather quickly (hooray for generic drugs!) in order to benefit society as a whole after a reasonable period has ellapsed for the creator to profit from their creation.

Now we have two realms that are very different from those upon which these principles were initially decided, and we are currently hashing out exactly what the balance should be for them: broadcast media (movies, music, television), and software. The don’t fit neatly into the two main categories above. It is not clear that in this time of digital reproduction and high-speed Internet connections that the initial assumptions about profitability were correct. It has been shown that music piracy ala Napster does NOT hurt physical record sales. It helps them. When you see all of the anti-priacy practices and press releases from the RIAA and the MPAA, you are seeing panicky, entrenched executives afraid for their jobs in the face a new, hungry, young marketplace that they don’t comprehend. There is money to be made there… they just don’t get it.

Likewise, the software companies do not fit the old paradigms. Their works are invention, yes, but they’re oftentimes like a fine novel, too (or a crappy one, depending on who you’re talking about). What level of protection do they deserve? And what about the fact that many of the big boys (Microsoft, Discreet, Adobe to name a few) have purposefully made their products easy to pirate so that they can build their installed base and squeeze out lower-cost but less feature-rich rivals? Haven’t they purposefully, or at least through tacit approval, blurred their own IP argument?

I think with NaN and the 2.23/2.25 thing going on, we see the heart of the matter. And that is RESPECT. No legislature can come into everyone’s house and make them comply with IP law. No industry scheme will ever be able to prevent it. It is just ridiculously easy to circumvent anything they come up with. What it boils down to is that individuals must respect the property that they use. In NaN’s case, I have no doubt that piracy is going on. But the general feeling I get from the community is that people are NOT pirating the non-free versions of Blender, at least not to the degree of other programs. And that is because most people feel RESPECT for Blender as a created and valuable thing.

It’s the same reason that I won’t copy Laurie Berker’s (kid’s musician) CD for my friend that wants it. I respect her as an artist, and I know that she needs every sale she can get. I won’t do it.

Unless the RIAA, the MPAA, and the illustrious members of the SPA can somehow get us to respect them and what they produce, no one is going to give two shits about copying their stuff. I don’t think they can do it. From the one end, they don’t seem to be able to stop themselves from treating their own customer base like violent felons. That won’t get you respect. From the other side, 95% of what those big boys produce is unashamed garbage. You won’t win respect that way either. I’m not advocating piracy. It’s illegal. You shouldn’t do it. But being illegal does not make something morally wrong in the same way that being legal does not make something morally right. So, your mileage may vary.

But wouldn’t it be cool if the years of turning out mostly trash and treating people like garbage was going to catch up them? Wouldn’t it be cool if the only people who made movies and television shows and music were people who did it because they LOVED doing it for the creative jazz it gave them, and who would keep their edge and continue to make good, hungry stuff because they weren’t inundated with riches and power that no one can really handle? Wouldn’t that just completely kick ass?

(Guinness) #10

It’s about code dependencies - how your program links to GPL libraries if at all. All kinds of commercial software is available on Linux - one example (I wish I had) is Maya.

(overextrude) #11

Intellectual property, handled in a fair and equitable manner, is deserving of protection, in my opinion. I do not buy into the notion that “information wants to be free,” because of the very real fact that there are costs in involved that someone must ultimately bear. One particularly interesting trait shared by intellectual property is that the property, in and of itself, costs nothing to produce, other than the time required to copy it from one location to another.

Because of this, some groups have come to reason that if it costs nothing to produce, it should cost nothing to use (the “information a wants to be free” paradigm). However, this completely overlooks the cost of development, distribution, maintenance, and continued research. Even so, consumers tend to exercise a rather two-faced approach when it comes to issues involving cost, quality, and licensing: they complain bitterly, yet refuse to exercise their rights as consumers by withholding any further purchases (or use) until conditions change.

What would happen if you gave $20 to someone every time they engaged in selfish or anti-social behavior? Would you then have any reason to complain?

On the other hand, I find it very troubling that IP laws, once crafted to foster innovation among MANY companies, have had entirely the opposite effect. Many larger companies with deep pockets have effectively strangled the process, having become the equivalent of patent mills. Add to this the the recent removal of funds from the patent and trademark office created by the never-ending money grab by our government, and you have a massively broken system.

Is there a way to fix this? Maybe not exactly as we’d like, or in the way that we’d like, but there IS a way to begin to move things back in the other direction. First and foremost, we need to move out of this state of passive consumerism. We need to regain the will to exercise our choices as consumers, and let the market work FOR us. Putting it into simpler terms, if you think the next CD you’d like to purchase is priced too high, or if you think most of what’s on it is crap, then don’t buy it. Bear in mind that copying it won’t get you anywhere, either - it will only make things worse by allowing the company that produced it even further justification for copy protection. If you dislike what Microsoft is doing with Windows XP (both the cost and registration nonsense), then use Linux. Will choices like this always be easy? Certainly not…but “easy” isn’t the point - the point is regaining some positive influence as consumers by spending our money wisely- by rewarding companies that are well-behaved, and ignoring those that aren’t.

(acasto) #12

One of the problems I see in thw world, is extreme laziness, and a lack of will to learn. If people liked to learn and work, then this would not be a problem. If someones product didn’t suit your needs, then you could make your own. It is possible, but highly improbable that this would really happen. But when it does come to pirated software, I think that it goes both ways. The user must respect the producer, and the producer must respect the user. This rarely goes two way now days, it all falls on the side of the producer mostly now. As soon as they get their check, that’s it. Look at how Microsoft got started, were they morally and totally legal in their venture ?

With music, it also comes down to a respect issue. I have much more respect for an artist that writes, plays, sings, etc… their own stuff. However, I have little artistic respect for the coporate packaged musician. They are put together with the sole purpose of making money. What ever happened to the love of the music and the art of it ? I consider myself to sing good, I even play piano and guitar, I’ve even won quite a few karaoke contests, but I don’t make millions a year, as do a lot of other I know that are very artistic in the field. People say that these musician work for their money, but do they really? or somewhere did they just get extremely lucky, and all the sudden become better than the rest of us?