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September 16, 2007

Code 2.0 and Intellectual Property

In Chapter 10, Lessig discusses intellectual property rights in relation to cyberspace. He notes two options for protection in cyberspace: "public law" and "private fences." After discussing current copyright laws (or lack thereof) as they apply to the internet, Lessig states that a "private fence" type of property protection would be best for cyberspace.
By "private fence," Lessig means that the property owner should protect his or her own work through code. The owner also has the responsibity to make his or her property avaiable to others ("copy-duty). Lessig proposes having special software to regulate the internet and prevent unwanted "stealing" of information.
But unlike material property, "Things are different with intellectual property. If you "take" my idea, I still have it" (196). Due to this difference, I believe that if Code restrictions are put in place to protect intellectual property, someome should regulate how much information can be concealed. Of course authors and musicians should have a right to regulate who sees/hears their work, and charge if others want to view their property. However, cetain information should be made widely availabe to the general public. For example, say research is done on a widely used medication, and it turns out that the medication is harmful. Should the scientist/author of the research paper have the right to conceal his or her findings? I think not.
Please let me know your thoughts and ideas regarding Lessig's proposals.

Posted by leslieph at September 16, 2007 03:09 PM

Comments

For the most part, I agree with Lessig and your ideas as well. If you post something on the internet, it should be your responsibility to protect it or share it. Lessig proposes having software to protect internet users from stealing information. There are a number of ways in which protection can be brought about, but with growing technology, it is also very easy to steal the information. Consider music for example. Songwriters and artists do whatever they can for people to buy their products, but with illegal downloading from limewire and other free sharing sites, it is very easy to obtain information that is to be "bought." Should the government step up and block sites and programs that create a nuisance for people trying to sell their information?

Posted by: cacovic at September 18, 2007 03:58 PM

For the most part, I agree with Lessig and your ideas as well. If you post something on the internet, it should be your responsibility to protect it or share it. Lessig proposes having software to protect internet users from stealing information. There are a number of ways in which protection can be brought about, but with growing technology, it is also very easy to steal the information. Consider music for example. Songwriters and artists do whatever they can for people to buy their products, but with illegal downloading from limewire and other free sharing sites, it is very easy to obtain information that is to be "bought." Should the government step up and block sites and programs that create a nuisance for people trying to sell their information?

Posted by: cacovic at September 18, 2007 03:59 PM

It seems to me that copy protecting content through software sounds like, and is a good idea, but will be very difficult to implement. Microsoft spends untold amounts of money to prevent theft of their operating systems, yet I could easily obtain a cracked copy of Windows Vista from bittorrent at this very moment, free of cost.

The Creative Commons movement and revamping current copyright laws appear to be the best solution to me. From what I understand (via podcasts, webpages, etc) current copyright laws basically "force" companies to prosecute every case they become aware of. Otherwise they are selectively enforcing laws, which is illegal. I don't see why selective enforcement is bad, why shouldn't you be able to sue only the people you want?

This is a very difficult issue, and yes I definitely think applicable research should be made public, it's the researchers responsibility.

Posted by: srmschlg at September 18, 2007 04:58 PM

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