IPR: Innovation vs copyrightSome of the issues that have generated the most media coverage over the past few years' growth of the Internet centre round intellectual property. How can we protect artists' copyright in an era of music and video sharing sites, where piracy is rampant? Should we protect the rights of the artists and producers, or is it a losing battle requiring a new business model to be invented? Can Digital Rights Management (DRM) provide the answer, or is it an unworkable system? Industry giants have had to change their approach in recent years to allow more flexibility (playing downloaded music on more than one platform for example); will they have to change a lot more as time and technology move on?
What are the arguments for and against posting patents in the first place? Does registering a publicly-available patent protect an inventor's interest or provide a manual for reverse engineering? Does the patent system (particularly in the area of software and 'business methods') protect great ideas and allow companies to develop them into economic engines of growth, or do they stifle innovation and protect the wealthy and existing monopolies?
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