Frenemy IP

This assignment was hard to articulate. I have some strong thoughts on copyright, whereas Intellectual Property (IP) is a huge umbrella term. Even after reading and research I’m still not sure that I’m confident speaking about the intricacies in general terms let alone in specific.

[If you can’t get the embedded Sway to work, you can view it here.]

8 Comments on “Frenemy IP

  1. This was cool! I’ll have to try Sway out sometime. I tend to agree with you about “frenemy IP”- in my post, I said IP was neither friend or foe (or maybe both at the same time). So along the same lines as “frenemy.” I particularly appreciate your discussion of the distinction between distribution and derivative- I think you really got to the core of the issue very succinctly.

    You said that in the case of distribution, “There is no benefit to the public, other than perhaps to slake consumer greed, from having an unauthorized distributor in this case.” As I talked about in my post, the original constitutional provision for IP protections reads, “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” In other words, the whole intention of IP was “to promote progress.” We give IP rights because we want to see society as a whole benefit, and I think you’ve made a strong case for the ability of derivations (but not distributions) to “promote progress.”

    • Thank you, sway was neat to work with but took a bit to get the hang of. It wasn’t difficult to use, but I kept minimizing parts of the work-space by accident at first.

      It is hard to tell sometimes where IP law falls on the good/bad spectrum. It is interesting that you bring up the promote progress quote, because I think the main goal of what IP law should strive for is to balance the promotion of progress with the protection of artist/authors.

      • ” I think the main goal of what IP law should strive for is to balance the promotion of progress with the protection of artist/authors.” — Not that I disagree, but this is essentially asking for an amendment to the constitution because protection of artists/authors is only one way of promoting progress, right?

  2. I’m not so sure “distribution” (given the nature and importance of the commons) is wholly without value, though I appreciate the distinction and agree that the usefulness of “derivation” is clearer.

    Great point about orphan works, which I mention but has been surprisingly absent from much of the Nousion discussion. Even if one wholly agrees with the state of copyright protections, or even wants more, the problem of orphan works is a huge one.

    I appreciate that this is a huge topic. But I will ask you as I have others: what specific kinds of changes do you envision to achieve the “improvement” you mean? Even a brainstorm would be useful. Hint: something like this will quite likely be part of your “not-so-final project.”

    Also: cool to see Sway in action. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it used before.

    • I had fun trying Sway. I’ve made it a personal goal to try as many new ways of presenting assignments as I can throughout the semester. Not just to fulfill the requirements, but to practice a bit of digital citizenship through creation. It also gives me a chance to see how these tools might be used in my classroom both for lecture and for student assessment.

      I don’t think all distribution is bad, I think it can be good at times. But I also think there is a difference between bootlegging and artists encouraging sharing/distributing.

      I think one of the biggest improvements would be a better working system to deal with orphan works. Ideally there would be a shortening of copyright length, but that is a distant future project. Having someway of releasing orphan works to public domain would allow for a lot of creative use/innovation I think.

      We also need to take a look at patent-trolls (and whatever the equivalent is for copyright). I don’t think that companies that have no claim to copyrighted works, or don’t intend to produce goods, should be able to affect copyright/patents to the extent they are now. We need some oversight, and way of censoring companies/individuals that misuse the system in this way.

  3. Pingback: Collection 3 – SGCarstensen

  4. First off, Sway….s’way cool! I’m going to have to check it out and give it a go. I love how it looks for your IP presentation.

    You referenced, Adam vs. The Man video where Adam makes the point that IP may actually be detrimental to new works. Nick brings up a similar point in that IP should not be applied to Ideas, as doing so they “they cannot spread, grow, interact with other ideas, or develop” and may actually hinder innovation creativity. If we weren’t able to take ideas and deconstruct, improve, big apart, and re-apply those ideas we’d have a pretty stagnant world.

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