Monday, March 28, 2011

Death of Copyright - or does it rise again ?

An old family friend from the previous generation has convinced himself that copyright and IP are dead.

His argument runs that as the Internet has developed the ability to duplicate and re-transmit digital content has made it impossible to protect IP and that it therefore has no value.

Well let's take a look at Argument 1 - that IP is generally dead. The monster success stories of the last 10 years - Google, Facebook, Apple - are all based around owning some exclusive IP whether an algorithm, brand name, URL, customer inteface or database rights all of which are protectable under the Berne Convention and can be considered IP. Younger Generation 1 : Post War Parasites 0 (no offense).

Argument 2: That IP has no value as it cannot be protected. Even a cursory examination of this shows that it is like arguing that since theft cannot be eliminated property has no value - clearly not correct. Policing online piracy can reduce levels of infringement by over 70% - so again IP can be protected. YG: 2 PWP: 0

Has copyright taken a solid beating from the IP Pirates ? Absolutely. But like one of those creatures in a George A Romero movie it has refused to die.