Month: December 2019

Writing 09: Patents and Intellectual Property

Regarding pirating data, as I wrote in my reading quiz, I think that using pirated data is less of a crime that actually illegally distributing copyrighted data. I simply feel that as a consumer, if I use copyrighted data that is far less of a crime than actually maliciously producing and distributing known copyrighted data. With the emergence of third parties like Netflix and Spotify who stream the content, it is clear that there is a proper way to get copyrighted material to users. I think with these streaming services, especially in light of the streaming wars, the entertainment industry is moving towards free entertainment. Therefore, I don’t necessarily see this issue of copyright becoming a problem as the services become more affordable. 


I think patents are necessary to regulate ideas in a society that is completely focused on profiting off what you own. It is important, especially in America, to have strict ownership over your idea or creation because if you don’t, someone will sweep it out from under you and take your profit. Therefore, yes I believe patents and a way to regulate ideas are necessary. However, they should be managed in a much better fashion. As I wrote in my reading quiz, those who verify patents must be much more strict on who they give patents to and do not. The issue of patent trolls is concerning but evidently a result of a patent system that is broken. If patents were perfect, there would be no discrepancy between ideas. If idea A is patented and idea B is close to A, it should not receive a patent. The solution here is hard to nail down. On one hand, they are beneficial as I mentioned before. On the other, these patent trolls can be very detrimental to business and there is the question of whether they are even useful at all. I believe within this there is a middle ground in which I call for a much more serious deliberation over whether an idea is genuinely unique. I believe this to be the best motive to mitigate the frustrating effect of patent trolls. 


Regarding open source, I believe it is obviously a wonderful resource available for developers. However, there must be an incredibly seriousness of the developer to be responsible for their actions on the web especially using open source. When reading into both the Heartbleed and ShellShock bugs, I reflect on the importance to have an aware and always on the defense type of the developer. To prevent these issues from negatively affecting our developing experience, we must be proactive about knowing what we are using, who the source is, and reviews from others to ensure it is safe. I also think there is a responsibility when using open source to always cite where you get information from. Given that a lot of computer science is the act of googling and learning as one does, it is essential to document where one receives information in instances of viruses and basic coding practice.