The development and success of the society are mainly based on the level of innovation. The society is built on human knowledge and innovative ideas. The modern society is characterized by high levels of interventions from human intellect. The thriving populace in today’s society arises from successful interventions. Out of ideas and knowledge comes intellectual property as the physical expression of human intellect. Various types of intellectual property are evident in the modern world of technology. These range from computer programs, inventions, movies, songs, books, drawings, and paintings. However, intellectual property is faced with a major problem whereby people want to use the property without crediting the inventor. It is important to protect the original creators to curb piracy and encourage innovation. Trademarks, patents, and copyright are the main forms of protection on the creator’s rights (Coombe, 2018). Intellectual property entails a strong bond between private rights and public interests. While the creator’s product and rights are protected, the public should have an opportunity to create new and improve existing products based on emerging inventions. Thus, both economic, societal and environmental concepts of protection should be considered in copyrighting and protection of intellectual property.
Copyrights have a significant influence on economic performance. All properties contribute to the economic growth of the country. However, intellectual property differs from tangible goods in two main economic properties. Specifically, intellectual property is creating works that are non-excludable and non-rival (Porsdam, 2016). The non-excludability nature implies that the creators cannot prevent unauthorized uses of intellectual property without appropriate legal rights. The intellectual property is non-rival in that it can be used by different users without a reduction in the individual value of consumption. Due to these special economic features, intellectual properties have some unique features of markets. The non-rivalry property implies that the creative works depend on legal copyright protection for existence (McCutcheon, 2018). Besides, the marginal cost of reproduction is very low to imply that the copyright aids in providing the creator with the power to regulate the creation and dissemination of their work. The exclusive rights of authorial control allow the creators to attain economic incentives and benefit economically from their intellectual property. Without copyright protection, other people could use the creator’s efforts freely, hence suppress the supply of intellectual property. Thus, copyrighting is important in regulating economic balance in the production of intellectual property.
Societal Concept (Legal issues)
Copyrights safeguard the creator’s rights and not the product. They are not focused on the idea but the expression of the idea. In its implementation, copyright law sounded to overtake patent law in ensuring the protection of the inventor’s rights. However, it has with time been clear that copyright law can be improved further. Different classes of products are subject to various copyright issues. Copyright infringement has led to various cases of literary lawsuits, especially in literature. A good example is in the case of Harper Lee versus Samuel Pinkus. The author of the great book ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ argues that Samuel Pinkus won the copyright to be her literary agent through unethical means of fooling (Porsdam, 2016). Another copyright issue presented in the literature is the protection of the characters. Only the characterization presented in a copyrighted work is protected under copyright law. For example, a protected character will have art or picture depicting it. In most cases, courts fail to rule whether characters are protected if there are no depictive presentations of the characters. Without depictive pictures or arts, it means that the character is based on readers’ imagination, hence the idea is not protected.
Environmental Concept (Ethical issues)
The protection of the intellectual property is an ethical requirement. However, a major challenge faced on ethical consideration is the attachment of intellectual property laws to interpretation. Under some circumstances, copyrighted materials can be used for ‘fair use’ (Porsdam, 2016). For example, the use of copyrighted material for education, comment or criticism is considered to be right. However, this is only a legal defense even if the clause was not specific. Registration of a product brings another ethical issue in copyrighting. Truthful statements must hold during the processes of registering and renewing an organization’s trademark (McCutcheon, 2018). This implies that any statement provided should either be true or fraud without compromise of so ever. In the U.S Copyright Office, fraud is treated as a major crime that attracts severe consequences. For example, a fraud statement claiming that a product is original may lead to cancellation of copyright registration and even loss of all the company’s credibility. Ethical standards are based on honesty as identified by both good faith and fair use.
A major global issue in the modern world of technology is the need to ensure protection of all aspects of innovation. The U.S government offers strong support to the existing movement to global rights on intellectual property. Nevertheless, the movement faces strong resistance from developing countries. Indeed, not all countries have developed to that level of protecting intellectual property through system operations (McCutcheon, 2018). However, most of them have laid significant methods of regulation towards protecting intellectual property. Thailand and Russia are the two countries that have expressed significant efforts towards protecting intellectual property. In Russia, there are strict laws imposed to safeguard intellectual property. The Russian Civil Code regulates copyright under it’s Part IV (Russian Federation, 2017). At first, producers of intellectual property were allowed to be the legal entities. However, the rule failed because the creators could lack an effective way of utilizing the product instead of just supervising it. Such a problem meant that the big production companies befitted economically and socially while the actual inventors remained unrecognized and unrewarded of their brains. Due to this, the Russian government implemented new laws to recognize the individual creators of creative works. Cybersquatting is common in Russia because the domain is named on the first-come-first-service approach. Although the issue affects the U.S as well, the U.S law holds that entities should buy own domains for their brand (Das, Mukhopadhyay and Bagchi, 2014). Conversely, Russia does not allow the domain names to be based on a trademark. There are many laws on the protection of intellectual property in Thailand. The oldest Thailand law entailed trademark protection for owners although it was ineffective because of failing to specify the civil rights of trademark owners. A significant law was implemented that protects intellectual property rights although it does not rely on technology.
The evident developments and successes in our society are rooted in creativity and innovation. While the innovation is rising, there is a great need to offer significant protection on the rights of the inventors. Besides, the intellectual property should be highly protected because they are the backbone of innovation in society. Although some approaches to intellectual property protection have been successful, there exist global, ethical and legal issues concerning the effectiveness of the protection approaches. There is still room for enhancing efficiency in the protection of intellectual property rights.
Coombe, R. J. (2018). Intellectual Property. The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology, 1-11.
Das, S., A. Mukhopadhyay and K. K. Bagchi (2014), National-Level Determinants of Global Music Piracy and Online Music Sales: An Exploratory Study, Journal of Global Information Technology Management, Vol. 17(1)
McCutcheon, J. (2018). Copyrighting Culture: Photography and the Public Domain. Photography and Culture, 11(3), 261-275.
Porsdam, H. (Ed.). (2016). Copyrighting Creativity: Creative Values, Cultural Heritage Institutions and Systems of Intellectual Property. Routledge.
Russian Federation: General Overview Of Russian Copyright Law. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2017, from http://www.mondaq.com/russianfederation/x/322826/Copyright/
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