Copyright me Please

In making policy designed with copyright in mind, you end up making decisions about whether other important technologies, such as privacy-enhancing or file-search technologies, should be encouraged or discouraged. A collision is happening between creativity and protecting IP. ~Edward Felton

Ah copyrights, you know those things on major brand names and icons. You see them everywhere advertisements, commercials, or whenever a corporation feels that you violate their licensing and takes your video down on YouTube. With the increased number of new and innovative ideas copyrights will soon also have to innovate and change to meet that demand.

How does copyright work right now? The copyright/trademark system in general is giving the original creator of any form of work whether that be a logo, an idea, even a program exclusive rights to it but only for a limited time. This means that the original owner has exclusive rights to their ideas.

Originally copyright was supposed to be a way for the government to put some form of restriction on printing. The idea at conception was similar if not exact to what it I defined earlier. Copyrights were also territorial which according to Wikipedia means that they do not extend beyond the territory of a specific state unless that state is a party to an international agreement, this has become less viable today due to copyrights focusing on single parties. the amount of time that a copyright lasts has been defined by the remaining life of the creator plus fifty to one hundred years after death. For things that are copyrighted by anonymous or corporate entities, the copyright lasts for a set finite amount of time.

Mentioned earlier in this post I talked about exclusive rights to a copyrighted work. Exclusive rights include that the owner is allowed to create copies of the original work for distribution, to create supplemental texts/materials to that add-on to the original work, to display the work publicly wherever the creator chooses, and most importantly allow the rights of the work to others.

Even though the copyright system is far established in our society does that mean it is secure for the future? In an essay entitled the future of copyright Mike Linksvayer states that copyright laws have become more restrictive. That being said, he points out that as our technology rapidly develops it has become increasingly harder to enforce such restrictions. It comes to a point that Linksvayer states that neither abolition nor police state in service of copyrestriction  scenarios are likely in the near future.

When reflecting on this I can also agree that enforcing copyright laws in the near future will be quite difficult. As more ideas become easier to distribute through social media, blogging, and in the case of software (games, applications, etc…) online distributing systems it becomes more taxing to make sure that credit is given to the original designers of the work. It might just be something that we as computer scientists will have to reason out and solve as we go forward!


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