Piracy, Intellectual Property
David F. Luckenbill
The term intellectual property is ambiguous. From a legalistic point of view, it refers to the exclusive rights to intellectual objects. In the United States, intellectual property includes the rights conferred by copyright, patent, and trademark laws. Copyright law grants an author the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, and adapt a literary, musical, or artistic work; patent law gives an inventor the exclusive right to make, use, and sell an invention; and trademark law grants a business the exclusive right to use a particular symbol to identify its products. Conventionally, however, intellectual property refers to the intellectual objects themselves—the original expressions of ideas fixed in tangible forms, such as books and records, and novel applications of ideas embodied in machines and technical processes. In the United States, violation of the rights to intellectual objects is a civil offense. The offender is liable to civil prosecution and remedial sanctions, such ...