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Protecting Ownership

”A lot of information is available to you on the Internet. But the fact that you can access that information does not mean it is proper or safe to use it any way you want” (Freedman, Jeri: “Intellectual Property“).

The writer Jeri Freedman has dealt with the issue of intellectual property in her book “Cyber Citizenship and Cyber Safety. Intellectual Proeprty”. She emphasizes in the responsible use of Internet, pointing out that there are sometimes strong feelings of property while concerning creative works those feelings are not taken into account. A similar opinion is given by Jennifer Peloso, who deals with related prolems like plagiarism, piracy and copyright; or Mary Pilon, who talks about the misuse students give to the Net and takes the intellectual property issue into the education field. Nevertheless, if Lauwrence Lessing’s video on “Freeing Culture” is taken into account, we will see that there is a discussion concerning intellectual property and that there are different points of view regarding this problem. How should we solve it without forgetting all the actors?

In order to approach to the issue as objectively as one can, different points of view should be taken into account; that is why appart from the works written by Peloso, Freedman, Pilon and Lessing, the agency of the United Nations that deals with the issue of “a balanced and accessible international intellectual property (IP) system” is also analyzed: WIPO. As a first approach to intellectual property, and according to the World Intellectual Property Organization, “intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce”, and it is divided into two categories: industrial creation (which deals with patents and trademarks) and copyright (related to literary and artistic creation). So intellectual property has to do with creation; going back to Freedman’s work, with owning. As she says in the introduction to her book, intellectual property rights have changed with the framework of digital technologies, as while sharing and accessing becomes easier, the line separating that access and permission becomes blurred.

Summarizing “Cyber Citizenship and Cyber Safety. Intellectual Proeprty”, the definition Freedman gives to intellectual proeprty as well as rights should be taken into account, and the analysis of the (mis)use it is given to intellectual property, considering also how it should be protected or what the future will be like. Laws taken regarding this topic are also beared in mind, or the steps different companies have already taken. Starting with the definition of copyright in the non-digital world, ethical and financial reasons to protect intellectual rights are explained. What Freedman believes is that the person who has created anything deserves credit, and that “information, even in a nonphysical form, is worth money”.

As it is seen, intellectual property is a problem that has not yet been solved. Different points of view and reasons are given to justify each one, and only time will tell how will be resolved.

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