IV.A Intellectual Property

IV.A Intellectual Property - IV.IntellectualProperty l

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IV. Intellectual Property  l Philosophical Preliminaries re Property l CE 124-128
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A Natural Rights Argument l John Locke: a person has a natural right to  whatever is in the public domain that one  then mixes his labor with l Same for planting a garden on unclaimed land  (back when there was such a thing) l What about intellectual property? l Clearly involves time-consuming labor
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Problem -1: Not a perfect analogy l Think about the difference between stealing  tangible property and “stealing your ideas” l What the creators of intellectual property  really  want is the right-to-make-a-profit-from-it l That’s an  economic  right over and above  mere property rights
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Conclusion: l Even though the analogy isn’t perfect, most  people think it’s close enough l I.e., it makes sense to talk about  intellectual   property, although the best reasons for  protecting it might not be deontological l In fact, most of US business has to do with 
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Utilitarian Arguments l Recall that utilitarians don’t think there are  any natural rights l So-called “legal rights” are okay, they  say, but the laws granting them must  benefit society
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Capitalism Fact l People look for new ways to do things and new  products to market.  Why? l Because they can benefit: make a profit l But  we  also benefit by having such products and  services at our disposal l Without protection like copyrights, etc., people  could not profit from their labor and capital 
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Conclusion l Intellectual property protections have clear  social benefits l Although, as we’ll see, there is a limit l Too much protection can stifle innovation l Objection: l What about open source software?
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Property Rights and Software l [Read rest of CE Chapter 5] l Different uses of the word ‘software’ l Flowchart: diagram of the algorithm for solving  the problem l High level language (C++): the source code l Machine language (1’s and 0’s): the object code
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Copyright l Protection from unauthorized copies l U.S. Law: Life of the author plus 70 years (last extended in 1998) l Works made for hire are  owned  by a corporation: 95 years  l Example: Bratz doll line proposed by former Matel employee  one month after leaving l Courts ruled copyright violation since he clearly came up  with the idea when he was a toy designer for Matel. l
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This note was uploaded on 07/06/2010 for the course PHIL 210B taught by Professor Koperski during the Winter '09 term at Saginaw Valley.

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IV.A Intellectual Property - IV.IntellectualProperty l

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