Monday, October 8, 2012

Piracy of Ideas

     After reading the articles I have a different take on intellectual property rights and the purpose they serve. The majority of the articles discussed topics of piracy and the effects they have on the world. However, I like to view the benefits which they serve from an inventor and a musicians perspective. Intellectual rights protect great ideas and do not prevent new innovation. They protect the inventors originality and allow him or her to benefit without he fear of someone stealing years of their life and work in an instant. I also do not see intellectual property rights as something that could prevent product or industry growth from occurring. In fact I think intellectual property rights push innovation into the future. This is because if someone invents something and patents it. The next person looking to create an invention in this field is forced to come up with something so much better and so different in order to avoid infringement. This pushes innovation and technology into the future in larger intervals than constant tweaks and adjustments would. I also feel that if an inventors hard work and ideas could be snatched up by a competitor there would be little advancement and drive to produce something new. People in my opinion have the right to protect their ideas because they are unique and a reflection of their time and effort.
     There are some areas around the world though where protecting intellectual property rights is a next to impossible task. With increasing technology perhaps it can be slowed. However, I do not believe it can ever be completely stopped. This is due to the fact that the world is an extremely vast place and protecting against every little pirating act would cost someone more than the actual act of piracy does. In fact, "Robert Neuwirth's" mentioned in his video, that many companies actually gain valuable insight from people pirating their products. They can make manufacturing, marketing, and many other assumptions based on the level of pirating occurring with their product. Robert also state that companies do not fear piracy because the people pirating the items would not necessarily be their customers anyway. This is because the costumers which would actually buy the products without pirating take pride in getting the real deal and without the guilt of stealing. Although many may see pirating tiny things as not a big deal, I do. For example music, although quite easy to pirate I am told, I still feel it to be very wrong. Many of the musicians who create the songs don't make much money as it is even the famous ones. So every dollar of their cut from the record producers counts for them and they benefit greatly from true fans who are willing to pay a small fraction of money to show their appreciation. To be honest if the song isn't worth a $1.99 than its probably not worth pirating anyway cause thats less than your average bottle of water from a vending machine.
     Now, intellectual property rights must remain as the name states " intellectual rights." If they defer from this standing or become abused then they have ruined the purpose in which they are supposed to serve. A sort of check and balance system even exists within U.S. patents. This is because they can only be held for x amount of years at a time. This prevents people from patenting an invention or an idea for all time. The patent process is also extremely expensive and can easily cost over 25,000 depending on the invention preventing people from patenting every little idea and invention.
    This said I can understand how people can see assigning rights to ideas as an impossible feat and I agree to an extent. However, assigning them to great ideas that revolutionize the world and are worth millions perhaps billions of dollars I think is a very useful tool. I feel that intellectual property rights also force competition to move farther with each stride into the future compared to how they would move if intellectual property rights didn't exist. However, I feel that it is currently impossible to protect everything in this world which could be considered worthy of an intellectual property right so for now use your best judgement and hopefully it guides you in an honest and respectful way.

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