Sunday, June 18, 2017

Theft of intellectual property is a crime; St. Cloud Times, June 17, 2017

Karen Cyson, St. Cloud Times,; Theft of intellectual property is a crime

[Kip Currier: we ever need more Intellectual Property education and awareness; lots of misconceptions and confusion out there. 
(Brief aside: See this story I posted a few days ago highlighting widespread confusion between copyrights and trademarks.)

This Op-Ed by Karen Cyson presents a wildly unbalanced understanding of the checks-and-balances codified within U.S. copyright law; regardless of whether one is or is not swayed by the facts of the alleged infringement. One of the biggest issues I have with this piece is that copyright law is often much more grey, more dependent on the specific facts of each particular case than Cyson makes it out to be:

No mention at all about whether the defense/doctrine of fair use might be applicable.

No acknowledgement of the increasing role of transformativeness within copyright law.

No insights into the downsides of copyright for the quilting community. No benchmarking comparisons made between the fashion industry (where there is no copyright protection for designs, at present, though various bills have been introduced over the past several years) and the quilting community.

And no distinctions between "attribution" and "infringement".

For an informative, more balanced look at the issues, read Tech Dirt's Glyn Moody (2012) post
What Quilting's Legal Battles Can Teach Us About Copyright  ]

"We all know copying is wrong. If someone else wrote it, designed it, sang it, filmed it, drew it or photographed it, it's wrong to copy their work. It's illegal...

Theft of intellectual property — anyone's — is a crime. You can quote me. With attribution.

This is the opinion of Karen Cyson, a child-care provider in Stearns County and 
coordinator of Central MN Mensa. Her column is published the third Sunday of the month."

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