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1.4 Intellectual Property on ITGSopedia

GOF 4.1.1-4.1.2 What is Intellectual Property? (pp. 180-185)
GOF 4.1.5 Ethical Arguments about Copying (pp. 187-190)
GOF 4.1.6 Legal Cases (pp 190-196)
Updates and Extras for Chapter 4 Gift of Fire


Intellectual property includes ideas, discoveries, writings, works of art, software, collections and presentations of data. Copyrights, trademarks and patents legally protect intellectual property, but easy and accurate duplication methods made available by IT can undermine such protections. On the other hand, the same methods create opportunity for inexpensive dissemination of information (IBO 2006).

Types of Intellectual property:
  • Copyright for original work (not the idea) in literary, artistic, dramatic or musical works, films, broadcasts, multimedia, computer/game programs and architectural designs
  • Patents for inventions and improved products or systems
  • Industrial designs
  • Integrated circuit
  • IP cores
  • Domain Name
  • Trademarks that distinguish goods and services traders, eg the shape of the Coca~Cola bottle or the sound of a Harley Davidson motorcycle
  • Geographic indications of source, such as the Eifel Tower
  • Plant breeder's rights for new plant varieties
  • Trade secrets

Intellectual property in the 21st Century

What is copyright?
Copyright is the legal protection given to authors which protects them against unauthorized copying of their work. This means that if you can see it, hear it and/or touch it - it may be protected. If it is an essay, if it is a play, if it is a song, if it is a funky original dance move, if it is a photograph, HTML coding or a computer graphic that can be set on paper, recorded on tape or saved to a hard drive, it may be protected. Copyright laws grant the creator the exclusive right to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute, perform and display the work publicly. Exclusive means only the creator of such work, not anybody who has access to it and decides to grab it. '''


An essay on Copyright Issues in Digital Media


Software Piracy"is the illegal reproduction and distribution of software applications, whether for business or personal use" (Microsoft 2007).Most people believe that is copying and selling software or games but in fact it can takes many different forms and laws are different in other countries. Even within a culture attitudes may and software/game piracy may be 'seen as normal'

  • Wikipedia reference. What is interesting is the different forms of copyright infringement and different country attitudes.
  • BBC videos related to piracy
  • BBC videos related to intellectual property
  • BBC news article Software piracy 'seen as normal'.
  • Software piracy in Egypt
Intellectual property protection on networks, for example, site licences, file access

  • Site licences allow organizations to install as many copies on any computer within the organization. It can be coupled with 'take home' licensing.

  • Restricting access to files on a network or servers can be controlled through permissions. This reduces the chance of theft.