The narrative of intellectual property today is a dichotomy between those proponents who believe it is a necessary legal measure in the evolution of our society, and those who believe such rights actually trump the rights of the individual. Indeed, much of the controversy surrounding the issue of Intellectual Property rights stem from the problems associated with ownership of intangible products in the hands of large corporations. While this may very well be the case, the opportunistic truth - as one ironically hopes is something far more necessary to our cultural infrastructure. Indeed, Intellectual Property rights have become both necessary and progressive additions to the function of our legal system.
[...] In the context of Intellectual property the social institution becomes even more necessary as pursuits of intellectual property require special legal protection as they are non-exclusive. As Resnik (2003) puts it, people can possess and use the same item of intellectual property without preventing each other from possessing or using Indeed, it would seem the subject of Intellectual property has changed the way we need to perceive ownership before the eyes of the law. Under that law, the most common legally recognized forms of Intellectual Property are patents, trademarks and copyrights. [...]
[...] According to Hamilton the drive for monopoly advantage has shut out the little guy and allocated the majority of intellectual property rights in the hands of the elite. Such sentiments are echoed by Boyle (2003) who believes we are experienced a second enclosure movement whereby intangible commons of the mind are becoming objects of ownership and no longer exist as shared resources”. For both Boyle (2003) and Hamilton it would seem that our cultural is becoming one of control, censorship and criminalization, whereby needless protections are harmful to our cultural and social development. [...]
[...] In such an atmosphere, Intellectual property rights become invaluable in retaining the role of creative thought as it is integral to the fabric of society. According to Manguel, humans can be defined as reading animals who come into the world to decipher it and themselves. Through the enforcement of Intellectual Property rights, societies stand to benefit culturally as financial rewards and legal rights enable individuals to produce intangible products of the mind. In this light, it can be argued that such encouragement leads to overall human development as societies explore higher centers of thought. [...]
[...] For Hamilton, the issue in the protection of intellectual property rights is firmly centered on the exploitation and isolation of the rights of human innovation and higher thought. Dr. Hamilton argues that in the modern era, the small business owner is bullied into recognizing the ownership of the elite over property relations. Through a sea of endless examples Hamilton supports the notion that intellectual property rights have become excessive in our society, often resulting in the exploitation of those unable to risk getting caught up in a maze of litigation and costly legal council. [...]
[...] Although, as Boyle (2003) and Hamilton believe, such rights and protections have gone too far, it is opportunistic to think that such disputes will be settled in the courts with the law of precedent acting as a shaping mechanism in this new and changing field of law. As the subject of intellectual property rights is still a rather recent phenomenon we must allow growing pains. Tangible property rights of the sixteenth century were not whole heartedly accepted by the societies they were imposed upon. However, as history reveals, such changes were necessary for social progress. So too, is the role [...]
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