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I202: Intellectual Property, Invention, and Creativity

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Heather Wiltse

on 10 July 2013

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Transcript of I202: Intellectual Property, Invention, and Creativity

“This is how code becomes law. The controls built into the technology of copy and access protection become rules the violation of which is also a violation of the law. In this way, the code extends the law—increasing its regulation, even if the subject it regulates (activities that would otherwise plainly constitute fair use) is beyond the reach of the law.”

(Lessig, Free Culture, p 160).
With digital things, many types of use (e.g., anything on the Internet) involve making a copy. This invokes copyright law.
Use of digital things is increasingly regulated/enforced by code (e.g., Adobe eBook Reader)
Digital Problems

Exceptions to Copyright Law
First sale
Fair use
What happens to the public domain?

Copyright Timeline
“He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening mine.”
Thomas Jefferson:

Intellectual property laws were created to encourage
, but today they often have the opposite effect.
Part of this is due to
changes in technology
It is also the result of
laws broadening the scope of what we consider intellectual property
the increasing number of patent filings
the greater number of patent- and copyright-related lawsuits.
Intellectual Property Problems

Propose copyright terms that would promote innovation and ‘progress’ in:


What actors are involved (creators, businesses, ‘users’?) and how should their interests be accounted for?
What factors/dynamics need to be considered?
How will your terms be enforced?
Your mission:
Intellectual and material property have some similarities, but they are also different in key ways.
Intellectual property (IP) laws have been shifting partly due to new technologies.
It is unclear if IP laws protect or disable innovation.
Digital media provide new challenges for copyright law and questions about the best ways to promote innovation.
Why does fair use matter?
“My claim is that the Internet should at least force us to
rethink the conditions under which the law of copyright automatically applies
, because it is clear that the current reach of copyright was never contemplated, much less chosen, by the legislators who enacted copyright law.” (p. 140)
Lessig’s argument
Copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of "original works of authorship" including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished.

It prohibits the making of unauthorized copies or derivative works.

Facts, ideas, concepts, processes and methods are not copyrightable.

Vocabulary: Copyright
“the realm embracing property rights that belong to the community at large, are unprotected by copyright or patent, and are subject to appropriation by anyone.”

-Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Vocabulary: Public domain
Incentive for people to share their inventions or their creative work so the public benefits from the ideas.

Mechanism for inventors and authors to receive payment for their work.

Continuation of public domain.
What is the purpose of intellectual property?

"Congress has the power
to promote the Progress of Science and the useful Arts
, by securing for
Limited Times
to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."
U.S. Constitution Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8
(constitutional basis of copyright law)
"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;
nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
Fifth Amendment “Takings Clause”
(constitutional basis for physical property)
I202: Social Informatics
July 11, 2013

Intellectual Property, Invention, and Creativity
© Walt Disney Corporation

Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (aka Mickey Mouse Protection Act)

Is intellectual property the same as regular property?

Source: Lessig, Free Culture

Vocabulary: Fair use
An exception to U.S. copyright law that may allow people to reproduce a copyrighted work depending on:
The purpose and character of use (e.g. academic, commercial)
The nature of the copyrighted work
The amount of the portion used in relation to the work as a whole
The effect of the use on the value of the work or its potential market
An exception to U.S. copyright law that allows you to resell a used version of a copyrighted work (e.g. books, dvds, etc.)
Source: Lessig, Free Culture

Policy vacuum: What happens to unregulated use when every use of a copyrighted work requires you to make a copy? This is often the case with the internet and other digital technologies.

Examples: e-books, mp3s, software.
Vocabulary: First sale
Exercise: Regulating music file sharing

Legal constraints
Market constraints
Social constraints

Technical constraints (code)
What Regulates:
The Lessig Dot Diagram
(social situation, context, culture, groups supporting smoking bans)
(smokeless vs. odor, nicotine coated)
(price , choice etc.)

Legal constraints
Market constraints
Social constraints
Technical constraints (code)
Exercise: Regulating the behavior of smoking

(cigarettes not sold to people under 18, not permitted to smoke in specific places, no smoking around children etc.)
Legal constraints
Market constraints
Social constraints

Technical constraints (code)
U.S. Congress enacted the first copyright law. Copyrighted works protected for 14 years with one time extension
Duration of copyright extended to 28 years.
Renewal term also extended to 28 years.
Renewal term eliminated, all copyrighted works automatically protected for the maximum term: life of the author plus 50 years, 75 years for corporations.
Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act increased copyright protection to life plus 75 years for individuals, 95 years for corporations.
Exclusive Rights
Public distribution
Public performance
Public display
For all creative works (songs, movies, software, etc.)
Do not have to register a copyright to have copyright protection.
Covered texts.
Needed to register to have copyright protection.
Copyright covers:
Copyright covers:
Scope and function:
Scope and function:
Full transcript