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‘hanging out the dirty linen’ to delve into the ethics of IT’s role in society.

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ITGS Online (weekly)

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ITGS Online (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of ITGSonline group favorite links are here.

ITGS Online (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of ITGSonline group favorite links are here.

The End of Ownership | Who cares about IP?

Over the years, new trends, technology and the development of new systems have allowed for the possibility of a future where you own nothing. This is due to a change in what it means to have Intellectual Property, and who even needs it.

 

Creative Industry

For the average day to day person, Intellectual Property might seem a distant issue, especially if they don’t do much when it comes to creating content. However, once you make a step towards content creation, that is music production, graphic design, video editing, scripting or anything that requires creativity, Intellectual Property and Copyright suddenly becomes a problem that either has to be worked around or prevents your success. 

 

As it currently stands, only the content creator has the right of ownership to their produced work as well as the ability to re-produce that work. To be able to use someone else’s work you either have to pay for the right or follow the rules of Fair Use, ultimately limiting the ability a creator has over using pre-existing content in their work.

 

Digital Rights Management (DRM) exists to allow copyright rules to extend to digital media, as the creation of Copyright existed far before digital media became commonly used. Thanks to DRM, people and companies can have copyright ownership of digital media such as songs, videos and video games.

 

Streaming

Spotify Premium, Spotify’s subscription based streaming service, allows users to download up to 3333 songs on a single device. However, although users can access all 3333 downloaded songs, they have ownership of none of them. This is in stark contrast to CDs, where as soon as you bought the CD, you immediately had ownership over it. This change in what it means to purchase something is just the start when it comes to the end of ownership. 

 

However, the natural benefit to streaming is that as long as you have an internet connection, you can access as many songs as you’d like that exists on that streaming platform whereas with CDs, you only had access to the CDs you owned. Unfortunately, this comes with a trade off, as almost every streaming service’s marketing model requires them to track the media you play, listen or watch, raising issues surrounding your Privacy & Anonimity, since where listening to a CD alone 

meant you were truly alone, you’re never alone when you use streaming services.

 

Software as a Service

In 2012, Adobe began a 5 year transition towards Software as a service, which would eventually grant access to the entire Creative Suite on a subscription based service but remove the user’s ownership by having all apps centrally hosted. By centrally hosting the apps, Adobe now provided the user access to the software, rather than having the user simply acces it themselves after buying the software.

 

One thing that both Spotify Premium and Adobe’s Creative Cloud is the usage of micropayments, which is crucial as it means as soon as the user stops paying for the subscription, they no longer have access to any of their downloaded songs on Spotify or the software they installed through Creative Cloud. However, while a user is subscribed, they have full access to the service anywhere with an internet connection, which in conjunction with reasonably affordable micropayments allows for Globalisation and Cultural Diversity.

 

However, both Spotify and Adobe’s new systems create new challenges that didn’t exist before. Where previously, once a CD was owned by you it became your responsibility and would be kept at your house, streaming services such as Spotify and SAAS are hosted at cloud server farms, which creates a new form of security issue beyond simply having someone break into your house with the security of the company’s servers.

Who cares about intellectual property?

Modern technology and societal development have started the transition of what ownership means, in regards to intellectual property, and whether it truly is needed, wanted, or useful to a capitalist society. Is the public’s opinion

Disney Sucks

It’s important that the following terms are understood by readers, though I doubt they will be important in the future;
Intellectual Property: Ideas, works, or anything created by someone, that is able to be seen or heard, which they are able to copyright, examples such as music, research, and books.
Copyright: The legal protection that intellectual property owners have on their works production and copying, can be given or bought from the owner.
Fair Use and Public Domain: Property that anyone can use, regardless of what it is, for Fair use, it must either comment on, criticize, or parody the property. Anything that no longer has standing copyright attached to it is public domain, and can be used by anyone.

 

Copyright was put into place around the 1800s, and the purpose of it at the time was to encourage artists and creators to continue their work, as the prevention of theft and stealing of ideas would make it seem worth the time and money investment to creators, which was beneficial to science, art, music, and many other communities and industries, as it allowed any small or large group to protect their work. However, in the modern era, effective and honest copyright usage is rarely used by the normal person, instead abused by giant media corporations and occasionally by artists. The prime example of this is Disney, who infamously have put effort into changing copyright laws, whilst originally they only lasted 20 years, to allow creators to make a profit, now, they last the creators lifetime plus around 50 years. Their abuse of copyright has allowed them to keep their works safe for longer than most people will live, as if their works fall under public domain, they know they will make no profit off of it, which is ironic given the fact that a majority of their movies are “inspired” from Fairy Tales from Europe and elsewhere. Disney’s, and other companies’, manipulations of copyright laws have turned copyright into a tool for rich and powerful to use to keep themselves rich and powerful, keeping a permanent monopoly on the created product, rather than the temporary monopoly planned in the original version of copyright laws. Disney themselves and other corporations seem reliant on the usage of copyright and public domain to keep themselves running, as if copyright was shorter, and their work fell into public domain, they wouldn’t make as much money, and then other people would be able to profit off of their works in the public domain, like how Disney have with their Fairy Tale Movies.

The rise of internet piracy could be a response to the increasingly restrictive copyright laws, and the increasing availability and freedom of piracy. As the copyright laws around the world becoming increasingly restrictive, and less content falls under public domain, less people will be able to create with the content in the culture around them, which is a major issue in most forms of media, as work is often reliant on and builds off of other pieces of work. Such as music, which has remixes, covers, and other forms that use another song or collection of songs to create something new. Nowadays, remixes and covers are often difficult to produce due to the nature of copyright, where musicians are required to ask for or purchase permissions to use songs directly from the music owner, which is another issue that I’ll bring up later. The purchase of permissions for music creates a barrier for less affluent or profitable musicians, and prevents the creation of new music, especially in amateur music. The moderation of copywritten media has resulted in many viewers, listeners and so on to illegally pirate or download media, either to experience for free, or to utilize for themselves, Simply because the cost to view or listen to media becomes higher as monopolies are formed in these media forms. The resulting expected response of piracy is understandable, as why would you purchase an overpriced license, or overpriced download fee, that would go directly to a CEO or manager rather than the people who worked on it.

The major issue of copyright in music media is the actual idea of who owns the music, as often new or aspiring musicians will be ‘recruited’ by record labels in order to grow their audience, and by doing so, relinquish their rights to own the copyright of their music. Record Labels are successful in modern eras due to the profits they make off of musicians, by selling their music and copyright permissions directly, and giving musicians a cut off profits, whilst providing equipment and benefits such as advertisement, audio equipment and so on. Record labels are an example of copyright becoming a separate thing from ownership, as similarly to video and film, the copyright is separated from the people who directly worked on it, and instead owned by major corporations and businesses, who often provide very little contribution to the music compared to the artists. However, in more modern eras, where digital media is becoming more prevalent, smaller musicians have been able to make profits off of their music whilst still keeping their rights to them. For example, using websites like Bandcamp that directly support the musicians, allowing musicians to keep their rights to music and keep profits. Another method used, is to display them on websites such as YouTube, which allows them to make smaller profits than selling them directly, due to the fact that they can be viewed and listened to for free, however, they are spread to a much wider audience, due to the nature of them being free. Which allows the musicians to receive profits from advertisements from YouTube, and also listeners may be inclined to purchase the music if they enjoy it enough.

The rise of digital media sources can be viewed as a separation of music ownership, both for the fact that artists tend to make their music or creations available freely, and the fact that music and other media are pirated illegally more often. At the same time, the ownership and copyright have moved away from the artists and creators and towards big companies and corporations, who keep the copyright for ludicrous periods of time due to the mangled mess that copyright has become. Copyright has become something utilized mainly by corporations, and at the same time something often ignored or unused by creators and most of the populations.

 

 

 

 

Cache me if you can

Let’s start with defining Intellectual Property , it refers to creations of the mind , such as inventions , literary and artistic works , designs and symbols , names and images used in various industries from software to creative. But can you make money out of it? Yes, by selling the digital ownership of it which gives permission to access and/or use it. This ownership also lets the creator grant or revoke rights on these data. The sum of all the intellectual property . The sum of the stored data about intellectual property is called digital data treasure.

Protecting Intellectual Property: An Easy Guide for Startups -  Tribunejustice

Now , staring with an example , the most frequent one we encounter in our daily lives is, buying things on Amazon , iTunes , people perceive that buying things digitally is no different except from it doesn’t occupy physical space . But this isn’t true , digital media has certain limitations too . You are only licensing it on some terms that the retailer sets, which usually aren’t even close to  ownership.Hence, we don’t really own any of the products we buy digitally any more.  Instead, we’re subjected to limitations on our use and handling of those objects that are imposed by both law and technology for example we can’t copy, sell, rent, lease, distribute, broadcast, sublicense, or otherwise assign any rights to any third party . A Corporation dictating what you can do with a purchase is not ownership , in 2009 Amazon deleted George Orwell books from user’s devices over a copyright dispute. While in this case, Amazon refunded customers, the fact that they have the ability to erase purchased content from user devices calls ownership in the digital age into question .We have just been living under a misconception , everything we considered a product , has now become a service usually just for a limited time.

You were listening to your own sweet playlist and one song just decides not to play , but rest of the songs are playing perfectly fine ? It might not be a big deal then have you ever wondered why that happened? Blame DRM , which stands for digital rights management . That usually indicates that it is a DRM or a copyright-protected file. But songs on iTunes are no longer DRM protected and Apple Music pays only $0.00735 per play while Spotify pays $0.00437 per play. Which means artists would need hundreds of thousands of streams just to make minimum wages. This is one of the biggest ongoing issues in the music industry which hasn’t been resolved yet. The option of streaming has not only changed the entire relationship between people and music but is being really unfair to the talented and deserving music artists who are going through a financial crisis due to the evolution from Vinyl records ,CDs to a one click away application on any device. But again , the three main stakeholders here are the music artists , the customers and mainly the music streaming companies. It’s true that people are interested in things with a long life span. We cannot continue with the same model of growth in any industry. We had all these terrible things happening: lifestyle diseases, climate change, the refugee crisis, environmental degradation, completely congested cities, water pollution, air pollution, social unrest and unemployment.We lost way too many people before we realized that we could do things differently But doing things differently has its pros and cons . In today’s world, You never really own music, because it’s temporal, so what you own is access to it at a time of your choosing . Unfortunately the only difference between listening to the radio and streaming music , only that it’s your choice, but you don’t own any of it legally. But not every stakeholder despised streaming services, some artists took advantage of it to increase their fanbase. For example , people couldn’t stream Beyoncé’s Lemonade album anywhere but Tidal for the first three years after its release, thanks to an exclusive deal designed to  lure all her fans to the streaming service her husband owns.Top 5 Apple Music DRM Removal Free Tools 2021

Now , we have concluded that customers are surely robbed of their ownership of digital media. But what about the creators ? They have been robbed of their own intellectual property. In a world , where subscribing to a service forbids you to copy, lend sell the media due to various streaming media protocols. The same world is prone to Piracy , the term is defined as theft of intellectual property but in simple terms it’s the easy of replicability online , where the original creators lose control over their own property. We will explore different examples where it’s a boon and a blessing.

Why did entertainment put piracy to sleep, only to wake it up again? | by  Richard Crimson | Fiction Coach | Medium

The state of the music market strongly agrees that people hardly care about ownership of digital files than they do of physical objects. Irrespective of that, Apple and Amazon’s Terms of Service forbid resale or other alienation of music files, they sell them without DRM.  DRM hasn’t been used on digital music downloads since 2009.  So, technically no streaming service  restricts customers from distributing copies of their iTunes or Amazon Music files ,users might not have “ownership rights” but surely have “ownership capabilities” on those files . People can argue on both sides of the court, some say there should be resell rights to avoid piracy , and digital goods should be treated the same as physical goods. At the same time people say digital copies are perfect and publisher’s markets would collapse. Piracy is destroying the careers of artists and bands , recording companies who are already struggling to make their way through in the market. Let’s assume a band called XYZ, has a really minute amount of followers on any of the social media platforms and just 79 views on YouTube , but due to torrent websites illegal strategies , it is known that the band has active 100,000 followers listening and downloading their music ,these false negatives leads to the band is being portrayed felonious , who are unable to earn any bread with integrity ,this not only undermines their business but ruins the capability of a generation of creative people anywhere. Musicians are revolting all round the world to draw attention to the microscopic earnings they make today. They are calling for a reform, transparency, fairness and rights. Social media was used to spread awareness and increase the breadth of this issue using the hashtags #brokenrecord , #antipiracy and #fixstreaming. Piracy is inevitable , but to make it better for the creators of intellectual property like music artists  , the government can grant musicians rights to income from streaming, so they can earn a percentage from every stream regardless of the system. This will reduce the growth of defaults in the system like Lily Allen , BitTorrent , etc.

The record labels thought they had turned the tide against piracy , Napster allowed people to easily share their MP3 files, cutting out the record labels and paying little heed to copyright. For a music industry which had long complained that home taping was killing music, this was devastation of a different order. It was followed by similar websites KaZaA and Gnutella and, as the potential of file sharing to undermine the record sales became clear, the music industry’s reaction was quick and brutal, but it had paved the way for other peer-to-peer file-sharing programmes, which continues to plague record labels today

There certainly are some advantages of privacy like globalization, it allows us to discover media that we would’ve otherwise skipped. We can say that piracy is the reason that helped the growth of certain bands and TV show on the map . If it wasn’t for privacy they might have faded away into obscurity . And For some people,  Internet piracy is the only way to access products that are otherwise unavailable in their respective countries. This advantage can be termed as self entitlement but on the other hand fairness. I will let your ethical beliefs take care of that .

 

I just want to end this topic with a question still unanswered, who do you think owns the copyrights of a selfie taken by a monkey provided the owner of the camera was not involved in the above creation.  Monkey see, monkey do, but monkey don’t get no copyrights.

 

Who cares about intellectual property?

A small anecdote

When I first thought of the term “intellectual property”, my immediate thought was of a friend. She’s an artist, and posts her work on social media, where I try and support her as much as possible by for example, retweeting and sharing her posts. And at this point, even I, a very non-creative person, knows that artists on social media- who are mainly freelancers, making money off of commissions and small jobs- hate reposts of their art. I think every other day I see her retweet something about not reposting creative pieces, and she specifically watermarks and says in the captions “DO NOT REPOST”.

Of course, this is the internet, which thirteen year olds and other stupid people are allowed access to. So, one day, my friend came to me and told me that because of a repost, a potential employer to whom she submitted her portfolio to, was unable to verify that a particular piece of art was by her (this was an older piece and there wasn’t a watermark). A repost without credit to her, “innocently” sharing her art, lost her a potential job. She’d lost ownership over her own work.

 

Commission in push to improve enforcement of intellectual property rights | Science|Business

(Source: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fsciencebusiness.net%2Fnews%2Fcommission-push-improve-enforcement-intellectual-property-rights&psig=AOvVaw1LK9IUIlBTflGTPtRynbma&ust=1611920662596000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CA0QjhxqFwoTCKD56-DGvu4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD)

 

Intellectual property is also applicable to many other pieces of media, whether or not as a intuitively creative as art. For example:

Patents protect inventors from having their work stolen and/or wrongly credited.

Trade secrets protection allows a company to keep specific information that gives them an advantage against their competitors eg. a recipe for a fast food chain.

Trademarks protect specific catchphrases or logos that make a company distinguishable.

Copyright, of which a lot of creative media falls under, especially software.

Some speculate that by 2030, most (if not all) physical objects will be services instead of products, not unlike how software has transformed. The important difference to note between a service and a product, is that once you buy a product (a piece of media), it’s yours and you can do what you want with it. However, with a service, you pay for usually a limited time in micropayments, to have access to the piece of media. For example, buying a movie on a DVD would make it a product, whereas paying for a Netflix subscription and watching the movie with that would make it a service.

Software as a service (SAAS) wasn’t as new of an idea as I once thought it was, the most notable SAAS business transformation being Adobe introducing “Creative Cloud” in April 2012. Until then, Adobe had been doing quite well financially the move was considered risky at the time. Creative Cloud introduced a flat annual rate for access to different software, as opposed to consumers buying physical disks with the software on and downloading it onto their devices. The transition was as gradual as possible, with Adobe only removing the option to buy traditional software in January 2017. At first, since a significant portion of the consumers were freelancers and hobbyists, who didn’t use some of the software included in Creative Cloud, Adobe then introduced subscriptions for individual software, as well as deals for schools and businesses.

Allegedly, Creative Cloud was more secure as data was stored via the cloud, and encrypted. In their security overview, they state:

“Access to services is based on each user’s unique identification, which means that only users entitled to a service may access it. All data transmissions are encrypted and user generated content (UGC) is encrypted at-rest. As detailed in the Dedicated Encryption Key section below, both transmissions and UGC may be additionally encrypted with a dedicated encryption key.”

With the introduction of subscription services and accounts, came the issues with cloud storage, the most applicable ones being:

Spread of malware (security). With all data being stored on the cloud instead of individual devices, especially with the risk of cloud server farms being the main singular “device” being at threat, it’s easier to spread malware across consumers using the software. Since there’s less physical devices to infect, and with all the software being centrally located somewhere (though perhaps they would have multiple cloud server farms), it puts consumers at risk

Complete trust in the company and yourself (people and machines, privacy and anonymity). There isn’t much of a way to fully verify that the company isn’t taking advantage of you choosing to store you data on their cloud. Trusting that their encryption methods are “good enough” (which is already quite subjective), and making sure you keep your relevant data safe, would prevent this being such a large issue.

Data loss (privacy and anonymity, security). An element of this is trusting the company, but in events such as natural disasters (which has happened to Google and Amazon before), would amplify data loss as the cloud isn’t just storing data for one consumer: it’s storing it for many. Storing server farms in physically secure locations can prevent the possibility of this.

Having said this, Adobe have also stated the benefits of cloud storage, mainly being ease of collaboration with other consumers. For artists, this would be a very key part of the user experience, and so this one benefit could potentially balance or outweigh the risks. On top of this, the benefit of frequent and more efficient upgrades to software saves the hassle of constantly downloading new updates for traditional software, which would increase productivity; something critically important for freelancers.

Moreover, Creative Cloud utilises Digital Rights Management, preventing plagarisation of software and maintaining user control. Features of DRM are quite useful for the creative industry in general for collaboration, for example:

-Preventing users from editing your work

-Setting an expiration date for access on a file

-Preventing users from forwarding and printing work

These features are useful, as it prevents work from being stolen in the process of being shared online- very common in this digital age.

What is SaaS? The Ultimate Guide to Software as a Service | Belighted

(Source: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fbelighted.com%2Fsaas-guide-to-software-as-service&psig=AOvVaw1NueR9u1K9Z4wTBxFAuZQ3&ust=1611923515453000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CA0QjhxqFwoTCPDlxZjRvu4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD)

It’s arguable that a key downside to everything moving to SAAS negatively affects cultural diversity and equality of access as well as employment, mainly because certain services will cause whole industries to be taken over.

“According to the International Federation for the Phonographic Industry, the average amount spent on music in 1999 was $64. But now, there are 96 million subscribers to Spotify alone, which costs $120 a year.” 

“Artists can expect to earn between $0.006 to $0.0084  per stream to the holder of music rights. However, according to some data from Information is Beautiful, it puts that number even lower at $0.00437 per play.”

This decreases cultural diversity, as artists don’t have a money incentive to be creative anymore, so the industry gradually dies out from there being little money circulation. One could say that this doesn’t matter- what good does art, in all forms, bring to the world? Personally I think it provides people an outlet to express themselves as they like, and much of the joy and entertainment you get from living is from art- whether it’s anime (online streaming platforms such as Crunchyroll is subscription based), a book series (Amazon Kindle) or music (Spotify). An obvious advantage is that it’s cheaper for the consumer, but when the cost of this is a loss for the artist, it’s quite outweighed. The creative industry being democratised by technology and redefining of ownership arguably would just make life a lot more boring.

Here's the Aska flying car that could whisk you to work in 2025 - CNET

(Source: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnet.com%2Fnews%2Faska-flying-car-could-whisk-you-to-work-in-2025%2F&psig=AOvVaw2XNa5FDtbSCB-X3Ml4jKtn&ust=1612007842664000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CA0QjhxqFwoTCPCQ_a2Lwe4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAU)

Creative media probably also won’t be the only thing transforming into a service too. Communication and transport industries may undergo a similar process, with the starting point being cars. While taxis and carpools have been common throughout history already, some predict that with the advancements in AI, self-driving cars may become more common. On top of this, once the industries cater and optimise products for recyclability, reparability and reusability, at that point the transport industry would essentially also collapse because transport has been automated. It’s also likely at that point that this would become so common that the price of taxis and similar services will decrease heavily, as most people would use. Similar to music streaming services however, this shift will mainly benefit the companies running these taxi services, as it’s already starting to.

For example, transport company Uber’s revenues have been consistently increasing after each year, with the exception being 2020 (because covid 19 prevented people using transport).

Uber gross bookings, net revenue, profit and loss

(Source: https://www.businessofapps.com/data/uber-statistics/#6)

Uber driver earnings satisfaction

Compared to the survey detailing driver satisfaction, the mainly neutral reaction with a fair number also answering 1 or 2 could indicate that already, large companies pay their workers less whilst they start earning more. Eventually, this effect would become even more noticeable than it already is, and employment in the entire industry (with more technological developments) would cease. In terms of stakeholders, this is even better for the large companies and consumers, but much worse for workers- similar to how SAAS benefits companies and consumers, but not the producers of media.

Twitter Logo | Twitter logo, Twitter symbols, Symbols

(Source: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.com%2Fpin%2F707980003900231266%2F&psig=AOvVaw0RKygTKxHMpAw2G_Yxcn_3&ust=1612009401064000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CA0QjhxqFwoTCNDq0o6Rwe4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD)

However, this effect is much less obvious for communications as a service. From my point of view, I’d take communications meaning social media and general communication via account to account or phone number to phone number. Most, if not all, social media is free to download, and it’s quite hard to classify communication as a product; even writing and sending letters could be considered a service, as you have a person in between physically handling the letter, although it could be said that this costs significantly more money than private messaging on Twitter (thus it could be implied that the cost of communication services has actually decreased, as opposed to increased like other services). Social media companies’ main source of profit would be the ads they use, at least on the free version of the site/account. For example not only has Twitter’s net profit been increasing, the graph notes that it only earns money through advertising and data licensing (graph: https://www.statista.com/statistics/274566/twitters-annual-revenue-by-channel/#:~:text=This%20statistic%20provides%20data%20on,dollars%20in%20the%20previous%20year.)

By data licensing, Twitter is allowed to use data posted by users and give feedback to to other companies, in order to help predict consumer trends, for example. Because data is protected by intellectual property rights, a license is required to access it, so companies would pay Twitter to help them with consumer feedback. This helps make Twitter money, whilst also benefitting companies. Combined with the virtually free access to communication for normal users which in comparison to traditional long-distance communication is much cheaper and more efficient, we could infer that communications as a services actually benefits all stakeholders (users, communication companies, and other companies).

 

A conclusion in table format

Industry  Stakeholders  Mainly positive or mainly negative? 
Software  Providing company  +++ 
Users  + 
Creative  Providing company  ++++ 
Artists  —- 
Users  ++ 
Transport  Providing company  +++ 
Workers   
Communications  Providing company  +++ 
Users  +++ 
Other companies  ++ 

 

Sources:

Life in 2030: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/11/how-life-could-change-2030/ 

Technical aspect of life in 2030: https://www.independent.co.uk/money/why-you-ll-own-nothing-2030-a7582111.html 

Adobe and SAAS: https://medium.com/bigfootcapital/7-lessons-from-adobes-successful-transition-to-saas-d0f7250ab352 

Adobe and SAAS: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/what-is-the-adobe-creative-cloud-should-you-subscribe-2531651 

How companies optimise profit: https://www.wired.com/story/why-you-cant-download-all-the-streaming-media/ 

What is intellectual property: https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/intel1_e.htm#:~:text=Intellectual%20property%20rights%20are%20the,a%20certain%20period%20of%20time. 

Types of intellectual property: https://brewerlong.com/information/business-law/four-types-of-intellectual-property/ 

Intellectual property rights in software: https://freibrunlaw.com/intellectual-property-rights-software-protect/#:~:text=Contact-,Intellectual%20Property%20Rights%20in%20Software%20%E2%80%93%20What%20They,and%20How%20to%20Protect%20Them&text=The%20term%20refers%20to%20a,of%20the%20overall%20ownership%20pie. 

Adobe and security: https://www.adobe.com/content/dam/cc/en/security/pdfs/CCE_security_whitepaper.pdf 

Security issues of cloud storage: https://www.imperva.com/blog/top-10-cloud-security-concerns/ 

Profit per stream on spotify: https://www.timesinternational.net/how-much-can-an-artist-earn-on-spotify/#:~:text=According%20to%20CNBC%2C%20artists%20can,would%20translate%20to%20roughly%20%244.37. 

Escrow: https://www.blog.consultants500.com/legal/software-intellectual-property-know-rights-obligations/ 

DRM: https://digitalguardian.com/blog/what-digital-rights-management 

Uber stats: https://www.businessofapps.com/data/uber-statistics/#6 

 

Before streaming media, people would own DVDs and CDs and this is how you would watch movies or listen to music. You owned your DVDs and you could watch them and lend them to anyone whenever you wished, just as long as you didn’t copy them or do anything illegal with them. But CDs and DVDs are disappearing. Now we listen to music on Spotify or Apple Music and watch movies and shows on Netflix, HBO, or Hulu. Most of these offer subscription plans, you sign up and pay a monthly fee, you then have access to the media on that platform. They also offer different deals depending on your situation. Most people like using these services but others aren’t so comfortable.

Some feel like they have lost control over the media they own or don’t own. On iTunes you could buy a song or album and listen to it through your devices, you can download the music and listen to it anywhere you want. But you don’t actually “own” the song. You used to own your CD, it was yours and that copy of the song was yours, but the song you are listening to on your phone doesn’t belong to you, even though you have paid to listen to it. Before music streaming you could lend your CD to a friend and they could then listen to the song, but you can’t do that anymore, you don’t have the right to distribute that music.

Music is an example of Intellectual Property. You could debate that intellectual property should not be required, that anyone could use any song or extract of a text anytime they wished to without issues rising from this such as the creator of such media claiming that their work had been copyrighted and misused. This would be a lot easier for everyone as we have a lot of media at our availability.

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But this wouldn’t work out so well. If anyone could use a songwriter’s song without asking permission and paying a required fee to use it, then this writer wouldn’t compose the song, or there would be no books, articles, or shows. If everything was out in the public domain for anyone to use and creators didn’t gain anything from their work, then these creators would stop creating their media.

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Licenses allow users to download and use creative media. If say, a school wanted to put on a play and showcase High School Musical, they would need to ask the Walt Disney Company for a license to be able to use their script. The school will most likely need to pay a fee and follow certain standards set by the Walt Disney Company. If the school didn’t follow these standards or if they found a pirate version of the script online and decided to use it without asking the Walt Disney Company for their permission, then the Walt Disney Company could sue them as this behavior would be considered to be illegal as they are not following copyright laws.

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In an article for TradeReady, Ewan Roy claims that protecting Intellectual Property is important but can be hard in some cases. If we don’t protect our ideas then they are out there for anyone to use and we don’t have evidence of it being our own since it hasn’t been protected. But Roy claims that protecting our ideas isn’t always successful. You aren’t always secure from pirates, counterfeiters, and other characters. These people aim to steal your ideas and media and use them for their own personal use or illegally distribute them for others to access illegally.

Roy also gives some shocking facts regarding the misuse of Intellectual Property in the information technology sector. Roy claims that according to the Business Software Alliance, 57% of the world’s PC users admit that they pirate software. These statistics came from computer users in 33 countries, suggesting that this is an act that is carried out worldwide. Although creativity media is protected, this doesn’t stop a high percentage of users from making some sort of illegal use with it.

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Many times this illegal activity comes when streaming video media or audio media. Although someone might have a subscription to Netflix, they will not have access to every show or movie that they wish to watch. This user will not want to subscribe to every streaming service because this will mean spending a lot of money and not everyone wants to do that. So instead of signing up to HBO, Hulu, and Prime, they will find some online streaming service in which they can watch that show they’ve been dying to watch. The quality might not be the best, and the screen might be flipped, but it will have to do.

More negatives are coming from this, not just the video quality but also the fact that these services might input some sort of virus into your device, or some inappropriate images might come up. You also don’t know where this media is coming from, who owns it, and usually aren’t aware of the possible consequences of your actions.

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Intellectual Property allows creators to come up with new ideas without worrying about them being stolen or illegally used. Without it, these creators would not find the motivation to come up with this media. Intellectual Property protects audio, video, text, medicine, and more. It can also be licensed to allow companies and individuals to use after paying a fee and following certain standards set by the creator. Intellectual Property laws also state that this creative media goes into the public domain where anyone can use it for free and freely 70 years after the death of the creator or when it comes to companies it tends to be between 95 and 120 years from creation or publication date.

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Without Intellectual Property, creators would stop creating media as they would get nothing out of it. Without getting a bit of money, (or a lot in some cases), or not even being recognized for it, there would be no motivation for creating this media as it could be passed off as anyone’s ideas. I believe that Intellectual Property is important, it is what helps make all those things we love watching, listening to, or observing. It gives us a creative side to life but also an educational one through articles, medicine, or books.

 

Here’s the original article by Ewan Roy

https://www.tradeready.ca/2017/topics/researchdevelopment/protecting-intellectual-property-good-bad-ugly/

 

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