I’m not a researcher. It’s my least favorite thing to do. If you want to know what I think about something, give me something to read, something look at, or tell me something and I’ll give you an honest opinion on how I feel about it. Please don’t ask me to search for something to tell you what I think about it. I’m the worst college student ever… Which makes me an evil teacher because I ask my students to go research for things. But in today’s world and with the standards teachers have to teach to, I kind of have to, so maybe I’m not that evil.
So, in regards to this assignment of digging up info about IP, CC and copyright stuff, I’m not too thrilled. But I did my best and I did learn new things. Continue reading to find out what I learned…
Wikipedia was the most useful source for information about IP. Intellectual property (IP) is exactly what I figured it is, one’s thought(s) that lead to the creation of something that one wants to be credited for and possibly gain fame or fortune from the final product. That isn’t too complicated. That part that does get complicated is how many laws there are to protect peoples’ products. Known as intellectual property rights (IPR), covering everything from music to inventions to symbols, these laws help protect people with brilliant ideas to make life better from having those ideas stolen by others. These laws come in the form of patents, copyright, industrial design rights, trademarks, plant variety rights, trade dress, and trade secrets. IPR are put in place to protect people to a certain extent. In theory, the laws are meant to encourage sharing of ideas. People can use IPR to protect the product of their thoughts from being exactly copied, while sharing with others their ideas and processes of making the product to promote growth. Good theory.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an organization that works to make sure peoples’ rights are protected worldwide. It also helps inventors and authors to be recognized and rewarded. As a primarily self-financed organization, I think the efforts of the group are needed to keep people protected in an organized fashion.
As I continue digging into the theory of IPR, another organization comes forth. Creative Commons (CC)is a non-profit organization that offers people a free option for putting copyright laws on their thoughts and products. This now has me thoroughly confused. First, I didn’t know CC was an organization. I thought it was another type of IPR. Second, the write-up of this organization kind of left my mind spinning. I think the point is to try to give people copyright coverage for free, which is great. But, criticism of how the copyrights are being used leads me to believe it may not be so great.
I’ve been sitting here starting and re-starting an explanation of how all of this should fit together, but there are so many gray areas it is too confusing for me to write anything in a way that would make sense. What I can conclude, is that IPR are important for the protection of people and their thoughts and/or products. The advancement of how these laws are put into place through organizations such as Creative Commons is going to bring forth more and more gray areas for abusers to get by with infringement. Since it is the individual’s responsibility to pursue any legal action against an abuser, I can understand why so many issues arise with these laws.
I am completely unsure at the moment of how I will license my blog or things I post on it. In one of my early blogs, I thought about using it for family memories but not wanting everything out in public for anyone to use. If I put a copyright on the things I want kept private, that might help. But, then again, how would I know if anyone ‘stole’ my pictures or ideas?
Hopefully, I won’t ever have to worry about it. I do know I have a lot more to learn about all of these issues!