ITGS Syllabus

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Topic 24

Intellectual property protection on networks, for example, site licences, file access by Su Chen

Recently, people are intended to focus more on the intellectual property protection. Countries have comprehensive laws for the protection of intellectual property (IP), which conform to all the major international IP conventions. They are commensurate with its status as a developed economy. The framework is intended to encourage creativity and ensure that creators enjoy the results of their innovations.

In other words, Intellectual property refers to creations of people’s mind which include inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols etc that designs used in commerce (in public). Later on Intellectual property divides into two categories as what we know: Industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indication of source; Copyright which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works. Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those of broadcaster in their radio and TV programs.

Thus, countries like Japan has the Intellectual property Department monitor the Intellectual property regime and ensure enforcement. It investigates complaints against infringements and has extensive powers of search and seizure. There are a lot of option affording protection, but depending on the item to be protected such as Patents, Trade marks, Copyright, Registered design.

Before, society only focuses on the basis of Intellectual property protection. They only care about the property that actually exists (physically), like trademarks, patents. However, in this fast growing society, network gets more and more important, little by little it involve in every activity. Thus, later on people Intellectual property add the network protection into its category, such as file access and site license which also involve in copyright. Finally, the Intellectual property protection changes some specific part in the protection list. They clam that Copyright is no longer only use for the book, photo these things. The filed copyright and relate rights has expanded dramatically as technology development have brought new ways of disseminating creations worldwide through such forms of communication as satellite broadcasting, compact discs, DVDs and the Internet.

Everyday, we will face the intellectual protection whether you are consciously or unconsciously. You may never know what site license is because without knowing it you still can use the internet. However it is very important since a site license allows you the right to copy a specific software product across multiple machines in your organization. Generally site licenses define an organization, location, or other means to describe the “site.” Although without the site license you can still download or copy from other computers in your local area network. In fact, at this time you already broke the law of Intellectual property protection. There is a very good example of site license: Adobe software (reader and flash player). Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) lets you capture and view robust information — from any application, on any computer system — and share it with anyone around the world. The problem of PDF is that it captures or searches the information (document) freely without limitation.

Site license does not work in PDF which means in local area network, adobe can freely to download view robust information from any other computers that in the same local area network without site license. Although, some one may just argue that this is not a big deal, adobe is an efficient tool. In fact, there are some problems (debates) rises from this function. In one hand Adobe saves our time and makes our lives more convenient. But in other hand, it breaks the Intellectual property protection. The owner of some specific program (documents, software, music, etc) will lose their property since Adobe is freely downloaded from any other computers. It invades our privacy. Therefore the question is should we allow Adobe to do so?

The social and ethical issue of Intellectual property protection on network is that the owner of his/her property has the authority to choose whether wants to share on the network or not. Every other individual has no right to download or copy it from the network (especially for some bad purpose) without site license or owner’s permission. Privacy becomes a very important point. Without the protection, no one is going to share information. People will afraid that sometimes their personal information may just disseminate on the internet. Their work might be stolen by some people. Therefore in some senses, the Intellectual property protection provides a “safe” space that people can actually do some secret things. In the meantime,

Intellectual property protection not only provides the privacy of the information and inventions but also protect the accuracy of it. So, without owner’s permission, individual can not change the information or invention purposely. From the society point of view, it encourages people to invent new software and programs since creators can be given the right to prevent others from using their inventions, designs or other creations and to use that right to negotiate payment in return for others using them. For example, without protection your program can be patented. Someone can steal your program and change it and then share or sell on the internet. To be considered, governments and parliaments have given creators these rights as an incentive to produce ideas that will benefit the entire society.


Anonymous said...

Yep, copyrights protect programs, and sharing them over the internet is illegal, but WHO excatly enforces these laws or the internet?? WWW stands for world wide web, but it seems more like the Wide Wide West.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 7:44:00 PM

Anonymous said...

i agree with tomer, how can you actually stop all this from happening? Is it actually possible to do so?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 2:13:00 AM

Anonymous said...

"The Tomer", I think you're referring to the "Wild Wild West." and not "Wide Wide West." Also the 'region' I think you're referring to is simply referred to as the "Wild West." No mechanical spiders in this article. =)

Anyways, the enforcement is definitely an issue. The lack of enforcement makes it ridiculously easy to violate copyright. It's not a matter of not enough laws and regulations.

Sunday, December 03, 2006 1:12:00 AM

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it is almost impossible to 'police' the internet. It is impossible to do economically. Something has to be done for enforcement and I for one can't think of any solutions.

Monday, December 04, 2006 7:19:00 PM

harsh said...

Unless a big big big change happens, Internet cannot be controlled. And even if it could be controlled - who would be incharge? Government of the respective country or the UN or an individual? It's just impossible. The internet is now in every single country or well most of the countries so unless you go "China" on every single country and limit information to people, there is no way to control the Internet. The Chinese government thinks it's doing the right thing by limiting access to information but it's actually doing a bad thing in the long-term. Chinese would be uneducated if this keeps going on.
Therefore, it's better to leave the Internet by itself and let the individuals see what they want.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 2:44:00 AM

HeeJun Son said...

It's true that no one can control and detect the Internet. Nor do we have the exact solution to solve this problem as the Internet is used and spreading rapidly. Although they have copyright thing, it's impossible to prevent people sharing the "protected" file. I think we should find a better solution that will set everything fine.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 10:46:00 PM

Anonymous said...

Contrary to what many of you believe, it is not hard to police the internet. 3 somewhat obscure countries, South Africa, and Peru are experimenting with the prototype of the Access to Information Monitoring Tool. For more info, go to

Friday, December 15, 2006 6:28:00 AM


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