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Intellectual Property


Intellectual Property (Wikipedia)

If Intellectual Property Is Neither Intellectual, Nor Property, What Is It?

Kinsella’s “Against Intellectual Property”

History suggests copyright crusade is a lost cause

“I Was Devastated”: Tim Berners-Lee, the Man Who Created the World Wide Web, Has Some Regrets


  1. Sam Starr Sam Starr July 2, 2019

    I really enjoyed listing to your thoughts on IP especially in comparison to real property. I especially liked your comparison to the ever expanding internet to the expansion of the American West. While I liked your comparison of squatters to digital squatters I did find myself wondering about what that would like online. With out the limitations on the amount of space available online, like there was in the west, what do you think will be the tipping point where digital squatters will need to be recognized as having legitimate claim to their domain?

    • dmwaters dmwaters July 9, 2019

      Unlike real property, which is defined as a tangible, fixed, unmovable parcel of land (and anything attached to it), the only fixed in the digital world is the IP address, and even that can be moved or changed. There is no scarcity of room or resources in the web, so there should be no conflict over the use of those resources. In the old West, some squatters were driven off, but for the most part, there were enough refusing to leave their domains that the law had to adjust that reality. The actions of the masses trumped the protests of the few. The tipping point then would be where the masses of creators and users are freely sharing and reworking content in the digital world (and essentially disregarding the IP law of the physical world) forces the law to adapt to the new digital reality over the objections of the few.

  2. Abdulallah Arbabzadah Abdulallah Arbabzadah July 3, 2019

    I agree that we are in the early stages of the digital revolution and that with that means more regulation is going to come about in terms of intellectual property rights in the digital age. How we handle this will show us how far we have come in terms of delineating specific rights to creators of works. What do you think of creative commons whereby authors of works voluntarily give up certain rights to their works (we have an assignment that deals with the subject in this collection)? Will expanding creative commons hurt or help the cause to advance as a community of digital citizens?

    • dmwaters dmwaters July 9, 2019

      I see creative commons as helping grow digital citizenship. The creator voluntarily waives copyright or generously grants permission to use the work the further the purpose of the web–to share and remix current knowledge and create new ways of knowing. The current community of digital citizens is modeling appropriate behavior and encouraging future digital citizens to emulate.

  3. Abdulallah Arbabzadah Abdulallah Arbabzadah July 29, 2019

    What do you think of what Liz posted about Intellectual Property, specifically that, “However, the injustices occurring because of pharmaceutical patent don’t only affect developing countries. Pharmaceutical price gauges affect us right here in the United States” ( Should we end patents for drugs in the United States, as one might think from reading what Liz posted? Or is the counter argument that companies need protections in order to make a profit so they can re-invest it into drug research? I would be interested in hearing your response.

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