Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Taking the "Intellectual" Out of the Intellectual Property Debate

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that Microsoft, a U.S. corporation, could violate a U.S. patent held by AT&T, another U.S. corporation, without penalty as long they do it on computers manufactured outside the borders of the United States.

Today, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued their annual report complaining that other countries are not doing enough to protect copyrights held by U.S. corporations.

U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said, "We must defend ideas, inventions and creativity from rip-off artists and thieves."

Someone alert Alanis Morissette.

Trivia for the Day: It took the United States more than a century to join the Berne Convention, which governs the artist's rights to their own work in most of the world. Quelle surprise.

One of the main differences that led to our delay? The United States supported the right to steal an artist's work unless the artist registered their copyright with the government and notified potential thieves that they held a registered copyright to their own work. The Berne Convention holds that the act of creation confers copyright to the artist unless the artist signs their rights away.


Johnny Yen said...

"as long they do it on computers manufactured outside the borders of the United States."

Isn't that pretty much all of them these days?

deadspot said...

That's what I was thinking. I was trying to figure out exactly which computers wouldn't be exempt and I couldn't think of any.

Come to think of it... do we really manufacture anything in the United States any more?