Intellectual Property (IP)

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April 15, 2013 by Ozgur Ozden

The World Intellectual Property Organization defines Intellectual Property (IP) as “Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.” Organization divides the IP into four broad category as:

1- Copyright This category contains mainly art crafts such as movies, music, novels, poem, etc… Copyright continues during the lifetime of the content creator and another fifty years after death.

2- Patent: Usually new discoveries and inventions fall into this category. Patents normally given for 20 years.

3- Trademark: Name, logo, motto, brand can be considered as trademark. Trademarks are last for 10 years.

4- Trade Secrets: formula, pattern, composition can be considered as trade secrets.

With an internet advancing in full speed, world became a global village. So in this new settings it is very difficult to draw a line about what falls into the definition of intellectual property or not. As a result, intellectual property is much more in the open domain now as Jefferson stated earlier. World is connected so densely, whatever you share on network instantly becomes public. A website you have designed or a web business model you have established becomes public and in a month you end up with many look alikes. Such as designed  1-click shopping system and this system is used little differently by one of its competitor, Barnes and Nobles. Legal battle between them settled out of court. As i have said before we do have a very thin line here. World is connected and many people are creating similar systems, sharing ideas. Art crafts, music, movies, software are shared all over the planet so definition of intellectual property should be revised. Content creators, owners, developers must find a way to display their products on the online market as well as protecting the copyright and trademark of their intellectual property such as copy proof CD and DVD, online registration etc…

In today’s connected network, we are facing with new problems almost every day such as:

  • Range of the protection in digital platform, depth.

  • responsibility of ISP’s

  • Content creator’s right in digital world

  • Copyrights of the music and movie’s broadcasted online;

  • Databases protection

  • P2P systems

  • Cyberlockers such as Rapidshare

and i believe many more to come.


Currently  E.U. Copyright Directive, and the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides protection and copyright in digital form. DMCA is accepted at October 28, 1998. Main idea of DMCA is to re-arrange the copyright law for todays digital world. But today it is very difficult to monitor these as RIAA President Cary Sherman indicated at the Technology Policy Institute’s Aspen Forum as ” “The DMCA isn’t working for content people at all. You cannot monitor all the infringements on the Internet. It’s simply not possible. We don’t have the ability to search all the places infringing content appears, such as cyberlockers like [file-hosting firm] RapidShare.”

In my personal opinion we have many intellectual properties falling into the public domain today and at the same time we have very specific copyrighted properties that needs to be protected globally. By the help of the organizations, governments and updated acts probably every three years we can partially monitor these infringements.



1- Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement Manual (2000) Available at: [Accessed: 28 March 2013]

2- By Adam D. Moore, Intellectual Property and Information Control, Available at:  [Accessed: 28 March 2013]

3- Andrew A. Adams, Rachel McCrindle [2012] Pandora’s Box:Social and Professional Issues of the Information Age. England: John Wiley & Sons Ltd

4-  What is Intellectual Property?,The World Intellectual Property Organization, Available at:  [Accessed: 28 March 2013]

5- RIAA: U.S. copyright law ‘isn’t working’2010 (online) Available at:  [Accessed: 30 March 2013]



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