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Intellectual Property Ownership Violations Research Paper

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Updated: Dec 28th, 2021

Original, tangible creative work done by someone is known as intellectual property. This work is usually protected by the law meaning that access, use and distribution of intellectual property is controlled (Miller, 2000). Intellectual property is not open to public use. According to the World Intellectual property organ of the UN, the rights to intellectual property relate to human inventions, literary and scientific works, designation trademarks and artistic performances. Other areas that are covered by WIPO include scientific discoveries, industrial designs and phonograms.

There are two categories of intellectual property. The first category comprises the patents, trademarks and industrial designs which are protected by the industrial property rights. The second category comprises artworks, literary works, music and computer programs and they are protected under copyrights. Intellectual property laws exist to allow creative and innovative people to benefit from their creations and innovations. Any one who makes an effort to develop something deserves credit for their efforts. For example, if an enterprise develops a marketing logo, no other enterprise should use it to market its own goods and services without a permit from owners of the logo. Protection of intellectual property promotes creativity because if people are allowed to copy without permission, creativity would be stifled (Maskus, 2008).

Though there are laws that protect intellectual property rights, violations of intellectual property around the world are still pervasive. There are millions of people earning money from intellectual property belonging to creative artists and scientists without their permission. The area that has been hardest hit by violation of intellectual property ownership rights is Music. The digital revolution came as a boon to the music industry because it created newer and state of the art methods of making music but the same revolution came to haunt the artists. Digital revolution made music piracy easier and music artists have been losing million of dollars to pirates. Music piracy has become so serious that music albums have been leaking to the pirates way before the artist launches their albums and this really affected the growth of the music industry because artists are not reaping enough money from their efforts. Another area that has been affected by piracy made easy by the digital revolution is the movie industry. Very few people especially in third world countries buy original movies due to the prevalence of pirated copies.

Violations of intellectual property rights are also very pervasive in the literary circles. Plagiarism is one of the ways that facilitate violation of intellectual property rights. Plagiarism is the ownership of original literary works done by another party without their permission. This is one of the most common violations of intellectual property in the academic circles. Students and tutors have been using works of arts belonging to other writers without their permission and without giving the owners of the work the credit they deserve. Apart from plagiarism, violation of intellectual property in the literary world occurs when literary works are duplicated. Instead of buying books, there are people who duplicate some parts of the books they want to use. They use someone else’s intellectual property denying them the opportunity to benefit from their creative efforts. Duplication of literary works is also common in academic institutions where you can find Xeroxed materials stored in the university libraries.

The newest form of intellectual property ownership violation affects the computing world. Creators of various computer programs and software are not benefiting from their intellectual efforts as they should because of intellectual property theft. Software piracy is one of the most pervasive cyber crimes and it is going on uncontrolled. The practice is so serious that more than a third of computer software used in the world is not genuine.

Violation of intellectual property rights not only results in losses for the creators of the government but also results in losses for the government. Governments around the world lose a lot of revenue due to the violation of intellectual property rights. It is estimated that the US government at least one billions dollars annually from software piracy alone. If all other forms of intellectual property violations are factored in, the amount could be much more.

What can be done to prevent or mitigate the violation of intellectual property? The first thing is enactment of stiffer penalties that will deter intellectual property violators (Lindberg, 2008). Governments should also crackdown on different types of intellectual property violators. Apathy of the law enforcement agencies has encouraged proliferation of intellectual property theft. Intellectual property violations occur mainly because the original products are far beyond the reach of the majority. This means that intellectual property owners should consider offering their property at consumer friendly prices because this will beat violators at their own game. They should also ensure their products are easily available, because if they are not easily available, intellectual property violators will make them available. Interest groups should also raise awareness on the gravity of this issue and educate people on intellectual property rights.

References

  1. Lindberg, V. (2008). Intellectual Property and Open Source: A Practical Guide to Protecting Code. Washington: O’Reilly Books.
  2. Maskus, K. (2009). Intellectual Property Rights and Economic Development. NY :Willey
  3. Miller, A et al. (2000). Intellectual Property: Patents, Trademarks, and Copyright. 3rd ed. New York: West/Wadsworth
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