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Intellectual Property.docx

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Western University
Philosophy 2074F/G

Intellectual Property 4/13/2012 9:59:00 AM Intellectual Property  Indefinitely shareable – if one person has an idea they can give it away as well as keep it for themselves  Any expression of an idea builds upon prior knowledge – builds upon original knowledge that was not of that person’s own creation  Fundamentally social – not only socially developed, but information and knowledge are most useful when shared Copyright  Copyright is a form of restriction on the distribution of ideas in certain forms of expression o Not the complete restriction of distribution, it is the ways that people are allowed to distribute ideas  Patents – restrict the way that one can use the information required to perform an activity or produce a piece of technology o The information in the patent can be freely available, but the techniques described in the patent can only be used if there is an agreement between the patent holder and those who want to use the information Ethical Justification of Copyright  Utilitarian justification: o A great deal of people in society benefit from the creative works produced by individuals o More creative works are produced if there is a reward for producing them o Granting creative people the right to limit the distribution of their work through copyright provides creative work with reward o Granting creative people the right to limit the distribution of their work through copyright provides society with more benefit from this work than there would be from creative
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