Previous in Forum: Computing Requirements to Run CAD   Next in Forum: E-mails on holiday
Close
Close
Close
12 comments
Guru

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Israel
Posts: 2924
Good Answers: 24

Why and how to protect intellectual property

07/04/2007 12:40 AM

Diving deeper and deeper into the era of 'Information Age' (as coined by Alvin Toffler in his book The Third Wave), the ownership and use of intellectual property, becomes deeply intertwined with our daily activities.

we may use pirated such property when buying unlicensed disk or software, and may be considered criminal when making a backup copy of our favorite movie.

The current situation leaves the end-user baffled. On one hand, the law forbids such copies to be made, on the other hand, manufacturers freely distribute up-to-date copying technology.

It resembles one form or another, of an arms race.

The debate associated, is also two faced on the parties supporting the validity of such property: One side says the law and enforcing authorities should hunt the perpetrators, while the other side maintains that the protection of such property should be purely technological, resulted from cooperation of like interest.

And this is only the practical debate, between those supporting the ownership and it's protection.

But there is a third side: Those negating the right to hold any intellectual property whatsoever, maintaining that, invention, art, literature, software and the like, represent products originated from our common collective knowledge and association, and should have no restriction in the access to, or the use of.

Such massive breach already happened during the eighties and nineties, in the 'Rap' and 'Hiphop' music industries, when musical phrases were ripped and used as 'samples' within new music creation, and led to the sprout of sampling machines software and methods, now becoming multi-billion operation.

Another can be seen in the large scale industrial reverse-engineering from the video-game industry to the advanced guided munition (military) industry, both feeding each other with ideas and techniques: The military feeding the game industry with future concepts, and the game feeding military builders with actual ergonomic algorithmic and programming techniques.

The issues are evident:

- Should maintenance and protection of intellectual property be legislative or technological in nature?

- Should there be such property in the first place?

- Does the breach of this tight protection be useful for the future development of the industry in genera?

- What do you think the commercial, economical, and cultural consequences be, if strict rules be tightly implied?

Register to Reply
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Active Contributor

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 24
#1

Re: Why and how to protect intellectual property

07/05/2007 4:09 AM

Protection has another side.

In the 70's my father and his partner discovered a scientific process that they thought would benifit humanity and therefore free gave the knowledge away, and even I beleive, published it. Now he finds that IBM are patenting it and feels his discovery has been stolen from the public realm. Does anyone know where he stands on this as he quite rightly wants it to remain in the public realm.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Israel
Posts: 2924
Good Answers: 24
#2
In reply to #1

Re: Why and how to protect intellectual property

07/05/2007 4:23 AM

Public domain registry of intellectual property is one way of going about a solution to your father's type of problems, i.e, the need to void private companies from hijacking public domain intellectual property.

There are non-profit organisations active for this purpose, and a steady, growing awareness to this issue. Please google "public domain registry of intellectual property" for further reference.

You brought to light however, another issue I did not, in my opening post, which is that of companies reverse-engineering public domain properties, so let's add this to the list of issues at hand here.

Additional CR4 reference:

Intellectual property - by T4T

Some thoughts on Intellectual Property - by Thinkingblade

Test Your Knowledge of Intellectual Property - by Moose

Fruits of Mental Labor - by Moose

Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 284
Good Answers: 6
#3
In reply to #1

Re: Why and how to protect intellectual property

07/05/2007 6:51 AM

In general, it is not allowed to patent an idea that had been previously publised in any accessible publication.

__________________
Constant change is here to stay!
Register to Reply
Active Contributor

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 24
#4
In reply to #3

Re: Why and how to protect intellectual property

07/05/2007 6:53 AM

exactly, that is what is bothering me. however companies try this sort of thing all the time I would have thought

Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 284
Good Answers: 6
#5

Re: Why and how to protect intellectual property

07/05/2007 7:07 AM

In order to formulate a reasonable attitude to this problem there should be a list of technologies that have benefited society. This list should be divided into: Patented technologies and public domain technologies. The relative weight and quality of these lists should be compared.

Personally, I think that humanity is in too much of a hurry and if there would be no patent protections and industrial progress would therefore be slower, the overall result would be beneficial.

But, I am afraid that a proper answer to the extremely complicated issue raised by Yuval, is something that can perhaps be analyzed by some 10 first rate university faculties. Analyzed I say - not solved...

__________________
Constant change is here to stay!
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
Posts: 4884
Good Answers: 243
#6

Re: Why and how to protect intellectual property

07/05/2007 10:24 AM

Hi Yuval.

Never expected Ethics to be the underlying topic on this forum.

I think that we need to define property and better define rights thereto.

In Vietnam, you can own the house, but the government retains title to the land it sits on.

In the US an author can own the rights to say, the song they wrote, and everyone is free to sing it...Except for a performance for profit...

Thomas Aquinas said that all prperty has a 'universal destination,' and that our private property rights are only valid as long as they do not morally prevent the benefit to that universal destination (ie the common good.)

If you look at the "tragedy the commons" on wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons it will give you a great insight as to what happens in the absence of private property rights. The disconnect between benefits and cost in commons' invariably results in the 'over consumption' of the commons' resource.

When does knowledge become "ours?"- after we pay tuition for it and our professor recites it, after we read it in the textbook we over paid for?

When can we claim that we 'know it" and use it, without need for citation?Example, SOmeone wants to know what a grade of steel is. If you had looked it up on a copyrighted database or from a copyrighted book, is it yours to" share?" What if you looked it up last year and now remember it as it was added to your mental store of steel grades?

The owner did not get hurt, you paid for your 'fair use' but the owner can now claims damage as he did not get to be paid for the latest requestors's purchase of that info from him, which was avoided by your provision of assistance.

I think that technology based rules are fraught withproblems- why the heck shouldn't I be able to take what I bought (Your back up movie example) and archive it electronically as I see fit? I paid for it. I need it electronically, and the vendor didn't offer it electronically.

What is needed is a better agreement about fair use. If this can be achieved , there will be fewer 'rip offs' and lawsuits.

my 2 sense.

milo

__________________
People say between two opposed opinions the truth lies in the middle. Not at all! Between them lies the problem, what is unseeable,eternally active life, contemplated in repose. Goethe
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Israel
Posts: 2924
Good Answers: 24
#7
In reply to #6

Re: Why and how to protect intellectual property

07/05/2007 3:13 PM

Milo,

Ethics was not my intended focus here, only technological trends to follow given legislative status.

P.S, In Israel too, you can own the house, but the government retains title to the land it sits on.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
Posts: 4884
Good Answers: 243
#8
In reply to #7

Re: Why and how to protect intellectual property

07/05/2007 3:22 PM

Thanks for the comeback.

But two of your original four questions are ethics based- should such individual ownership of intellectual property exist? and the last one what are sociocultural impacts of tight enforcement?

My paraphrase of your post, not direct quote.

In the lensman series (ee doc smith, written before any of us were born) The advanced technological "lens' was uncopiable, unforgeable, and thus enabled the galaxy wide institution of law and order through the 'lensmen' who were sworn to uphold the lens.

Barring any such "perfect' technological advantage, we will continue to see arms races between violators and protectors. This is ultimately a social issue which will find its solution outside of engineering technology, in my opinion.

PErhaps there will be a market solution, but an engineering solution is unlikely.

milo

__________________
People say between two opposed opinions the truth lies in the middle. Not at all! Between them lies the problem, what is unseeable,eternally active life, contemplated in repose. Goethe
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Israel
Posts: 2924
Good Answers: 24
#9
In reply to #8

Re: Why and how to protect intellectual property

07/05/2007 3:31 PM

I too, think that this arms-race will continue, but back to the OP, do you think protectors of such copyrights should pursue their protection through legislative or technology embedded means?

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
Posts: 4884
Good Answers: 243
#10
In reply to #9

Re: Why and how to protect intellectual property

07/05/2007 4:02 PM

Without a legislative basis, their technological protections which are thwarted would leave them with no recourse.

First they must have a legitimate moral claim. (By legitimate, I mean they own it and recognize that users will use for user purposes, which may include archival copy or change to preferred medium such as to Ipod if they don't have a tv...)

Then the legislature must give them legal protection for their claim.

Then should they try to block piracy by 'technological means,' which are then circumvented / overcome by clever people, the originators still have a means for stopping infringement.

With out this legal basis, what would happen is what is happening in China right now, where, if you get your hands on a copy, you are now in the business of providing whatever it is... as a competitor to the originator of the work/product. China has a long history of no copyrights, that knowledge is 'everyone's" and the idea that an idea can be reserved in it's use is something that we sure weren't able to explain to anyone on our brief 2 weeks there. Educated people. But the idea of private ownership rights of ideas- they didn't get that.

But I visited a plant that made fluid power components. Very nice ones. Exact clones of the designs of their former partners designs.

When the partnership ended for whatever reason, they continued to make these products. ANd now they tell every one in their newsletters and publications about the need to protect the company's designs...

With out rule of law, there is anarchy and rule of force.

Technology provides means, to all intents; law is only way to enforce legitimate ends.

milo

__________________
People say between two opposed opinions the truth lies in the middle. Not at all! Between them lies the problem, what is unseeable,eternally active life, contemplated in repose. Goethe
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Israel
Posts: 2924
Good Answers: 24
#11
In reply to #10

Re: Why and how to protect intellectual property

07/05/2007 4:14 PM

Not to mention that any form of 'free' broadcast, "any" in the sense that it's not in the form of "pay-per-view", turns these protections obsolete, because a broadcast is basically an indiscriminant multi-copy of sorts.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
Posts: 4884
Good Answers: 243
#12
In reply to #11

Re: Why and how to protect intellectual property

07/05/2007 4:19 PM

You got it.

milo

__________________
People say between two opposed opinions the truth lies in the middle. Not at all! Between them lies the problem, what is unseeable,eternally active life, contemplated in repose. Goethe
Register to Reply
Register to Reply 12 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

dovy (2); Milo (4); patrick.e (2); Yuval (4)

Previous in Forum: Computing Requirements to Run CAD   Next in Forum: E-mails on holiday

Advertisement