Skit 1: playing your song, with and without ©
Skit 2: downloaded album and program, with a visit from the Shareware Superhero
We considered several issues related to intellectual property:
Then we discussed several legal cases that have been decided around these issues. This led to some enligtehning discussion about what you all think of downloading copyright music and film. (Is stealing from someone okay if the someone is rich?)
My group had a case dealing with Pizza Hut and C&F company who manufactures precooked sausage and distributes it to Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut broke some agreements that were made with C&F and potentially caused huge profit decline for C&F. Therefore, C&F sued Pizza Hut for unfair competition and some other things. My group had the term of unfair competition to talk about. This is something that a business does that causes injury to another business through deceptive or wrongful practice. Pizza Hut deceptively made C&F tell their secrets to them and their other suppliers in promise of buying large quantities of sausage from them. But after companies such as IBP had the secret they were able to lower the price and then Pizza Hut demanded that C&F lower their prices. This hurt C&F and caused them to lose a lot of money.
The other groups each had the other terms to discuss in light of their own cases. We discussed these cases as a whole class and heard what each group had to say about their cases. Not all of the groups were able to share by the end of class. But we had a good discussion of some issues dealing with Intellectual property. I didn't know all of the issues that dealt with copyrighting and all. This was very interesting to learn about and think about the issues. Downloading music is especially an interesting issue to think about.
A copyright is an intangible right granted to the author or originator of certain literary or artistic productions where he or she is invested, for a limited period with the sole and exclusive privilege of multiplying copies and publishing and selling them.
Misappropriation is the act of taking and using another's intellectual property for hte sole purpose of capitalizing unfairly on the good will and reputation of the property owner.
A patent is the grant of a property right to the inventor issued by the Patent and Trademark office. the term of a new patent is usually 20 years from the date on which the patent is applied for the right of a patent is the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention in the U.S.
A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device or any combination thereof used by a person to identify and distinguish his or her goods from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of goods even if that source is unknown.
This group presented a number of court cases giving examples of these laws and how the court upheld them or didn't including, "Victor's Secret", and the 20th Century Fox controversy about the documentary used in one of their films.
The most interesting thing I learned from this presentation was that when one of the ideas above (copyright, trademark, etc.) goes to court, often times it deals with more than just one issue. If a copyright case goes to court, it can easily include violating a trademark or a patent. There is more to it than just one violation of the law.
We talked about music and burning CDs. The major reason I personally don't feel guilty about burning CDs and downloading songs is because the artist only makes $.03 per CD bought, according to the group. On a CD that costs the buyer $15, that leaves the record company with $14.93. The record company already makes a bunch of money from the artist for putting out their CDs. In no way do I feel guilty about giving the record company $14.93 more.
We also discussed numerous court cases that have involved such issues. The specific case my group talked about, which we did not have time to discuss in class, was about a man who was fined $250,000 for burning CDs and selling them from his own "CD company". While I don't feel bad for burning CDs, I think the court was justified in this case. This man wasn't just burning CDs for his own enjoyment. He was making money off of consumers who probably didn't know any better. But since I am not selling CDs and making money off of them, I am doing it for my own enjoyment, I feel like I am hurting no one.
When we broke off into our little groups, my group had trademark, and it was neat to look at the case study and see how that applied to what we were talking about. Our example for trademark was the Nike swoosh, the MLB baseball guy, pretty much any symbol. Our case story was about a company in Japan that used "TIDE" as it's name and we thought that would be confusing to Americans, they would think it was the laundry detergent and that's why it goes agaist the trademark rule.
Our in-class discussion went well, we got to see what other peoples' impressions were of the different case stories, and what would happen to the companies if the other companies/people could do these things to them. For example taking chapters out of the book for students to use, I wouldn't mind the cost difference but it is harmful to the producer and manufactorers. I thought that this group did a great job.