[d@DCC] What is "intellectual property"?
jyoung at lexinformatica.org
Thu Sep 26 03:03:30 EDT 2002
At 15:01 -0700 02.09.25, Chris Brand wrote:
> > Our current jargon file appears to agree with the lobbiest idea, which
>>is that it is the 'idea' that is the property and that 'copyright' and
>>'patents' are like 'title to a piece of land'. I believe it is best
>>expressed to say that it is the 'copyright' or 'patent' that is the
>>property, not the idea or expression of the idea.
>A subtle distinction, but I think you're right. I'll do my best to reword it.
Copyright, as intellectual property, does deal with the expression of
an idea. The expression is the protected thing.
> > When trying to explain what Intellectual Property is, I say it is like
>>owning a theater ticket. When one is the 'owner' of a theater ticket, they
>>are given specific rights. The ticket may give a seat number, and may
>>give a time -- giving the owner of the ticket the exclusive right to that
>>seat in that theater for that given time.
>I really like this analogy and will use it in the rewrite.
>Thanks also to Seth for the FSF link. I'll include that, too.
"Intellectual property" refers to a bundle of rights. The ticket
analogy may be accurate as regards to copyright, but would not, for
example, be accurate as regards other types of intellectual property,
such as trademarks or software licences. I would be careful in the
use of analogies, as that is what got us here in the first place,
viz. "intellectual property".
> > There are terms I believe that should be stopped, such as the phrase
>>"piracy" which appears to have no connection to reality at all. The
>>proper term is copyright or patent infringement, and in the majority of
>>cases is closer to 'digital jaywalking' or 'unauthorized advertisement'
>>than 'murder in the high-seas'.
>You're out of date, Russell, they don't say "piracy" any more, they now
>say "theft" :
Piracy refers to "robbery" not "murder". The problem with the term
piracy is not that it could not be accurate, in some circumstances,
but that it ignores the distinction between economically substantial
theft and de minimus trading. I think it also connotes a certain
degree of severity without any probative value to that effect. To the
extent it does these two things, it sets the stage for the
introduction of criminal sanctions for what might otherwise be de
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