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In today=s society technology has made life easier and almost totally automated. You no longer need to go to a teller in a bank to deposit, withdraw, or even cash a check. You can even program a calculator to solve for the c value in an equation in math class. To even top things off you no longer need to be at home or around a computer to go on to the internet with advancements in cellular phone technology. Unfortunately there are drawbacks to the rapidly growing field of technology and computers. The internet is making more and more music, movies, games, and thousands of other software accessible. Most of it is stolen or APIRATED@, and then put up on the internet for anybody to download and use on their PC (personal computer). Along the lines there are even programs that let you find, download, and use what you want at no charge. To be able to do this hurts or even destroys the inventors very own intellectual property and they have the right to make royalties off of their idea, whether it is music, movies, games, or even business/personal software. The loss of these properties are due to four main factors, networking, encryption, few or no precedents, and a fast growth, in the PC field. All of which have led intellectual property on the bleeding edge of the technology world but has not totally eliminated it from the market. Some companies are improving in those area with better programing and encrypting. Also with the help of the United States government in making laws, standards, and agencies totally focused on this area of technology.
The first issue is networking. Whether its on a local level such as an intranet or LAN (local area network) where only a few computers are networked or connected together and have file sharing access or as a world wide factor as the internet or WAN (wide area network). Networking allows multiple use access the same data at the same time. When there is an intranet it is localized to only a small community such as a business or local school. However they tend to be link or connected to the internet allowing incoming and outgoing traffic through the extranet server. The extranet server gives the LAN access to the outside world but also give the outside world access to them. With hundreds of thousands of computers linked to each other gigabytes (approximately one billion bytes) of gigabytes of data are shared.
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Technology is making it easier to compact, mass multiply, and distribute a product. Also with the total fade out of eight track cassette tape and long play record, music has converted over to CDs (compact disc). CDs are in digital format what are composed strictly zeros and ones. Now that CDRW (compact disc re write) drives have been released anybody can copy any CD they wish. Also along the lines of copying CDs there is software that lets anybody convert CD audio into a low space format mat called MP3 (Mpeg 3 layer), and can use the same program to play the song with out the CD. With this capability you can trade, sell, and even just give away the music with out the artist getting one penny of royalty. Some CD manufactures are encrypting their products to protect their data. Another type of piracy of intellectual DVD (digital versatile/video disc) ripping. A DVD is not a totally the same as a CD, it takes a special drive that reads the different layers on the disc, and transfers the data a faster speed. Besides a different drive, the disc space capacity of a DVD is almost ten times the size of the average CD. With these changes and a high encryption format a person is not able to copy a DVD on to a CD, but you can rip the movie. To rip the movie means to copy the image in a lower quality and different format that the DVD comes on. There is software that allows you to rip a movie that is seven gigabytes in a movie that is around 600 megabytes (approximately six hundred million bytes) in a Divx ;-) format. The quality of this format is very good and very fast but not as good as DVD. One of the problem with having an idea digitalized is that there are very few laws regarding the protection of an idea that is electronically produced.
In the latest news regarding electronic copyright Napster is at the top of the list. Napster is one of the first companies to be charged with electronic piracy. They are being sued by many artist and their record labels, and Napster is setting a prescience in the file sharing of music over the internet. Napster wrote a program that allow their users to log into a server that is located in California, and search, view, and then download each others files at that moment. This process totally cut out the middle man of the record label, and also cutting off the consent to the artist. Besides losing the consent of the artist, the users are leaving out the royalties that are paid to the artist for their work and idea. The problem with the internet and file sharing is that there is a lot of ground that has to be explored because the area is so new. It is also a thriving market and business place, but still has a lot of development and growth. With the growth of the new market area there has only been a few precedents set in to place and standards very from country to country. What may be illegal in one country might be totally legal in another, such as drink and purchasing alcohol in the United States one must be of the age of twenty one, where in Europe the common age is sixteen. The internet allows people to setup server in multiple countries where it is legal and totally accessible all over the world, and allows them to host something that might be illegal in their home country. Unfortunately countries set thier own precedents, standards, and laws that effect the whole world, but the creators of the music, software, or movie will have to move to protect their product better.
One of the reason for the lack of law is that the rapid growth of the computer industry, for it is only twenty years old. The computer field is constantly growing and changing before any laws can be made. Computers programers are always trying to make programs easier, faster, and more affordable for consumers. However there are programs known as AHACKERS@ that there skills are harbored in being able to crack or break the code that makes up the programs that many consumers want. They work only to see if they can crack the code as a trill. Unfortunately it is becoming easier and easier to become a AHACKER@ with out knowing who to even know how to program or write machine code. There is more and more software being developed to convert music to MP3s, rip DVDs into DIVX ;-) format, and CDRW software that allows to create a CD in just a few minutes. With these programs being produced it allows anybody do what the professionals know how to do at the easy of point and click interface. However the programs are a threat the major developers of music, software, and movies where only they have the popular products that everybody wants. But the major developers are in the cutting edge of networking, encryption, and growth.
Intellectual property piracy is a serious and financially offensive crime. It helps increase the retail price of music, software, and movies. It is lead by the growth of technology and the lack of laws against it. As long as there are people looking for a way out of paying for something there will be intellectual property piracy. What is needed to be done is better security and encryption for digital data, harsher laws, and an internet standard for all countries.
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