Saturday, August 3, 2019

Hackers and the Evolution of Intellectual Property Rights Essay

Hackers and the Evolution of Intellectual Property Rights Introduction According to Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, theft is, "The act of stealing; specifically, the felonious taking and removing of personal property, with an intent to deprive the rightful owner of the same" (Webster's 2). Before the advent of moveable type, no one had cause to apply this concept to information rather than physical property. If one were to steal a book, the act was easily recognized as of the same moral color as stealing a horse, a nugget of gold, or any other physical object. The thief?s possession of the stolen item constituted the rightful owner?s lack of it, a loss both real and measurable. Today, theft seems a hazier concept, due to the popularization and codification of Intellectual Property (IP) rights. IP rights differ from standard property rights in that they signify an individual's right of ownership over "intangible things" (Kinsella 3). Arguably, the most important such things are patents and copyrights. Patents protect inventions, and copyrig hts protect "original forms of expression" (Fisher 1). In both cases, the right to ownership amounts to ownership of an idea, not a physical object. Intellectual Property Rights in the United States The first American federal copyright law was enacted in the first year after the states ratified the Constitution. The original protection extended was for a period of fourteen years, with one renewal possible at the end of the term assuming the continued survival of the author. As famously stated in an 1853 federal circuit court ruling over Uncle Tom?s Cabin, such protections provided for government intervention only to protect the author?s, ?exclusive right to print... ...insella, N. Stephan. ?In Defense of Napster and Against the Second Homesteading Rule?. 4 Sept 2000. URL: Schwartz, John. ?A Heretical View of File Sharing?. New York Times Online. 5 April 2004. URL: ?The Approved Licenses?. Open Source Initiative. 2004. URL: The Mentor. ?The Conscience of a Hacker?. 8 January 1986. URL: ?The Open Source Definition?. Open Source Initiative. 2004.URL: ?Theft?. Webster?s Revised Unabridged Dictionary. 6 May 2004. URL: ?Welcome to Open Source?. Open Source Initiative. 2004. URL:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.