Intellectual Property: Information Must be Freely Available to Everyone Essay

Intellectual Property: Information Must be Freely Available to Everyone Essay

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“Ask your average high school kids if they use Kazaa, and the answer is a resounding 'duh,'” (137) according to Jennifer Peloso. Kazza, BitTorrent, and other technologies like it allow the sharing of information, all for free. There is a stark contrast in the availability of information today than there was just a few decades ago, due in large part to the internet. On the internet, all information is free. Capitalism is based on the idea that to be successful, you need to have something that others want; something that is worth money. The internet made information a commodity, bringing an end to an era where in order to create and access content, you must have money. Over the past decade and a half, the United States government has created a few, but all encompassing, laws to help publishers keep their intellectual property under their control. But is the dissemination of intellectual property bad? The United States government has created these laws in order to try to protect the intellectual property of companies and individuals. The most important laws being the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (hereafter referred to as the DMCA) and the upcoming Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (hereafter referred to as the ACTA). These laws are in place because of a fear that the present day capitalistic economy will fall apart without a creator-money-consumer relationship. In a society where technology allows people to create and acquire information for themselves, both on their terms and prices, it is difficult for the creators of intellectual property to make money. In Lois Lowry’s book The Giver, the inhabitants of the community have no choice in the information that they can access. In the end of the book, this proves to be a fatal mis...

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...ent Institutes, Inc., 1996. Print.
Lessig, Lawrence. Free Culture. New York, New York: The Penguin Press, 2004. Free Culture. Web. 8 Feb. 2010. .
Lowry, Lois. The Giver. N.p.: Random House, Inc., 1993. Print.
McRae, Hamish. “Hamish McRae: Why intellectual property is a vital trade for the English-speaking world.” Editorial. The Independent. N.p., 12 Oct. 2006. Web. 11 Feb. 2010. .
Patel, Sandip. E-Mail interview. 23 Feb. 2010.
Peloso, Jennifer, ed. Intellectual Property. N.p.: H.W. Wilson, 2003. Print. The Reference Shelf.
Whitman, Walt. "Pioneers! O Pioneers! ." 1855. Leaves of Grass. Princeton. Web.
18 Feb. 2010. .

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