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Impact of Computers on Society 6A. Intellectual Property.

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Presentation on theme: "Impact of Computers on Society 6A. Intellectual Property."— Presentation transcript:

1 Impact of Computers on Society 6A. Intellectual Property

2 What is Property? Physical, tangible objects Intangible objects A natural right … certain unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. John Locke (1600s) People have exclusive rights to… Themselves The fruits of their labor

3 Property What is intellectual property? Patent A physical object, device, or process Copyright Intended to promote the creation of new works Not intended as a compensation system for authors The expression of an idea, not the idea itself An algorithm cannot be copyrighted, but the implementation of it can Lotus 123 vs. Excel GWTW vs. The Wind Done Gone These PowerPoint slides are copyrighted

4 Other protections Trademarks and logos The Nike swoosh The new Hood Blazer Trade secrets The formula for Coke Grandmas secret recipe Bushs Baked Beans

5 Software Copyrightable Unlike a book A new situation because software was the first intellectual property to be easily copied exactly VHS and Betamax tapes were an early warning Soon followed by CDs, MP3 files, and DVDs

6 The Doctrine of Fair Use Purpose – not for commercial gain Nature of the work – creative works given more protection than factual works How much is used – varies with the item being copied Effect on the market for the original – does it reduce sales?

7 Is it Fair Use? Publishing your own phone book Taping a TV show for later viewing Making a copy of a CD you own for use in your car Making a copy of a CD to trade with a friend Using a newspaper article in class Singing Happy BirthdayHappy Birthday

8 Reverse Engineering Taking something apart to see how it works An intent to make something to work with the original object – an accessory, another piece of equipment, etc. May not incorporate anything (code, parts) from the original Not a copyright violation, but may be a patent violation As an alternative, consider licensing the technology

9 Contributing to the problem Increased capacity – disks, data lines, hardware, speed The WWW – almost universal interconnectivity New algorithms and software – MP3, DVD video formats, peer-to-peer networking Computer as enabler, not the source of the problem

10 Napster Peer-to-peer file sharing for MP3 files Millions of users – copying on a massive scale Provided lists of songs and users logged on Did not make any attempt at copyright protection Defeated in court Was Napster responsible for the actions of its users?

11 After Napster Copying is not going to stop RIAA is suing individuals who download A great way to win friends Expensive and capricious Sony DRMvs. EFF, and MicrosoftEFFMicrosoft Pay for music sites Apple is now giving away iTunes softwareiTunes software More recent sites – BitTorrent, Morpheus, GnutellaBitTorrentMorpheusGnutella Is it ethical for your prof to post the above links?

12 Who Makes Money? Who makes money from music? Surely not the musicians! People object to what is essentially a monopoly – its an antitrust situation The problem is not that people think composers and musicians should give away their work for free. The problem is how to pay them fairly.

13 Software and Media Piracy Copyright protection schemes Validation keys Cracking the protection Less of a problem in the US than elsewhere (see chart on p. 250) Losses globally estimated in billions of dollars China a major offender

14 What about developing countries? Cannot afford the cost Counterfeiting Some are going to Linux as a solution China Africa Brazil State and local governments No wonder Microsoft is concernedconcerned

15 Microsoft Is Microsoft a virtual monopoly? The EEU says yes MS is generally disliked as a company, which makes it an easy target for illegal copying What is the value of software? Not the packaging or manuals Is personal use fair use? Bundled software is sometimes pirated – look for an official hologram or other evidence

16 Arguments in Favor of Copying I cant afford to buy it A large company wont miss the revenue I wouldnt buy it at retail price Im just making a copy for a friend My copying is a drop in the bucket Everybody does it! I bought it at educational discount…for a friend Its so easy! Do any of these arguments hold water?

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