4.3 Why is it important to respect intellectual property?
It is important to respect intellectual property for these three reasons:
- To promote creative communities and rich cultures. We must support creative work by paying writers, artists, musicians and designers for their work.
- To promote freedom of speech and expression. When individual creative people can make a living from sales of their work, they are free from the pressures of sponsorship by governments or large corporations.
- It is wrong to steal. It is immoral and illegal to steal other people's property unless they give you permission to use it.
Consider these situations
Yes, if a person contacts you to use some original art work or music from your web page, you can charge them money for using it, as well as giving them permission to use it. Naturally, they must acknowledge your work by naming you and your work. This acknowledgement is called attribution.
Every time someone copies a video, DVD, film, logo or picture or pirates a CD or computer game without permission, they are stealing intellectual property and breaking copyright law. Everyone deserves the right to earn money from selling copies of their original work.
Cultural copyright is not yet operational to protect the creative work of indigenous groups of artists, including Aboriginal Australians. The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) within the United Nations is hard at work drafting a future 'indigenous cultural productions' right. This will protect the work of groups of indigenous people and will also protect traditional designs. It is taking some time because copyright typically protects the original work of individuals, rather than the traditional work of groups.
Work through each step in the module:
- 4.1 What is copyright? Why do we need it?
- 4.2 What is the Copyright Act?
- 4.3 Why is it important to respect intellectual property?
- 4.4 How does copyright work in a digital environment?
- 4.5 How is copyright related to music, screen content and images found in digital media and on the internet?