Writing 09: Intellectual Property

I think that intellectual property should be protected. Someone took the time to create a concept, and should be entitled to everything that results from it such as profit, etc. However, the issue is that there is no real way to control how this concept is distributed. When it comes to DVDs, they are ripped and sold. When it comes to software programs, music, movies, etc, they are pirated online. There are too many ways in which intellectual property rights can be violated. I think this will not be solved solely by law, but also by innovation. The fact that are law system regarding this seems to not be able to make it stop to any real degree, we have to resort to actually implementing something that limits people’s ability to pirate or lowers their willingness to pirate. For example, Netflix is one of the leading causes why movies and other entertainment isn’t pirated as much anymore. It is because they offered such a service that made pirating unappealing because of the security issue that inherently comes with it. They created something that deterred people from pirating. Pirating is already illegal, but it took a legitimate good service in order to get people to stop pirating. Laws are ineffective when it comes to this. However, not everyone can invent a service such that it makes people not want to pirate. This is why I believe that the distributor of the intellectual property should build in security somehow into the product. If it’s a DVD, make a system such that it cannot be ripped. For example, creating a disc reading software that’s the only software that can read the (encrypted) disc, and give no option to rip it. This would make it a lot harder to rip the DVD, which would decrease the amount of people engaging in this activity. However, I do believe that laws are effective when it comes to encouraging people to create something. For example, patents. I believe that patents are beneficial for society. I believe that one of the effects of patents is that the products that result from patents are of higher quality than products that are made by a bigger company that stole the idea from a startup. The reason being, if a small company makes something, it has to be truly great if the company is going to succeed. It is their only product, so it better be good. On the other hand, if there were no patents, a big company can step in at anytime, copy the product, but only work on it enough such that it is sell-able, and that’s it. The company could simply use its existing customer base to help that product take off, instead of gaining new clients solely based off of the product. So, since inventors have this protection that allows them a certain amount of time to be the only ones working on an upcoming product, I think it encourages people to try to create something without worrying too much that their efforts will be futile.