|Concept Theft... What Is Intellectual Property?
By Trina L.C. Schiller
Intellectual property... now there's a real 90's deal. Copyrights, trade marks, patents, have been around for a long while, and are generally understood by most people. However, those legalities didn't encompass concepts, in need of protection, since the exploration of the virtual world, commenced.
When the Internet was born, the transmission of ideas exploded. All of a sudden, there was a whole new realm of possibilities to be explored. Idea guys were suddenly in high demand, and the money began to flow.
In the spirit of competition, we discovered a need to protect ideas, thought processes, and credit card numbers. So, the government stepped in and wrote some laws, to protect what is in your head.
Intellectual Property is defined as:
"A product of the intellect, that has commercial value, including copyrighted property such as, literary or artisic works, and ideational property, such as patenets, appellations of origins, business methods, and industrial processes."
"Intangible property that is the result of creativity (such as, patents, trademarks, or copyrights)."
"The ownership of ideas and control over the tangible, or virtual representations of those ideas..."
Concept theft is a problem that is not really talked about much, but it does exist. Remember when Bill Gates introduced Windows, and Steve Jobs accused him of ripping off Apple?
With the Internet representing endless possibilities for creativity, it would only stand to reason, that cases of idea stealing should rise, as competition for dominating market shares increases.
If you've got marketable ideas, you'd better know your rights and responsibilities. If you don't, you'll kick yourself when someone steals your million dollar idea out from under you. You need to be legally protected and aware in cyberspace, just as you must in the real world. There are people out there, that would rather steal your idea than come up with something original, on their own.
If your desire to succeed brings you to the consideration of wire-tapping someone else's brain waves, and making off with their ideas, you should catch up on your reading a bit. The government has taken this matter to heart, and legislated it pretty intensely. You should know your rights as an Internet Intellectual, and the penalties for idea stealing.
"The Economic Espionage Act of 1996 ("EEA") contains two separate provisions that criminalize the theft or misappropriation of trade secrets. The first provision, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 1831(a), is directed towards foreign economic espionage and requires that the theft of the trade secret be done to benefit a foreign government, instrumentality, or agent. It states:
(a) In general. -- Whoever, intending or knowing that the offense will benefit any foreign government, foreign instrumentality, or foreign agent, knowingly -
** (1) steals, or without authorization appropriates, takes, carries away, or conceals, or by fraud, artifice, or deception obtains a trade secret;
** (2) without authorization copies, duplicates, sketches, draws, photographs, downloads, uploads, alters, destroys, photocopies, replicates, transmits, delivers, sends, mails, communicates, or conveys a trade secret;
** (3) receives, buys, or possesses a trade secret, knowing the same to have been stolen or appropriated, obtained, or converted without authorization;
** (4) attempts to commit any offense described in any of paragraphs (1) through (3); or
** (5) conspires with one or more other persons to commit any offense described in any of paragraphs (1) through (3), and one or more of such person do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, shall, except as provided in subsection (b), be fined not more than $500,000 or imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.
In contrast, the second provision, 18 U.S.C. § 1832, makes criminal the commercial theft of trade secrets, carried out for purely economic or commercial advantage:
(a) Whoever, with intent to convert a trade secret, that is related to or included in a product that is produced for or placed in interstate or foreign commerce, to the economic benefit of anyone other than the owner thereof, and intending or knowing that the offense will injure any owner of that trade secret, knowingly --
** (1) steals, or without authorization appropriates, takes, carries away, or conceals, or by fraud, artifice, or deception obtains such information;
** (2) without authorization copies, duplicates, sketches, draws, photographs, downloads, uploads, alters, destroys, photocopies, replicates, transmits, delivers, sends, mails, communicates, or conveys such information;
** (3) receives, buys, or possesses such information, knowing the same to have been stolen or appropriated, obtained, or converted without authorization;
** (4) attempts to commit any offense described in paragraphs (1) through (3); or
** (5) conspires with one or more other persons to commit any offense described in paragraphs (1) through (3), and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, shall, except as provided in subsection (b), be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.
Please fell free to visit the links referenced, to read more about Intellectual Property - Rights, Crime and Punnishment. There really is an awful lot you should know. This should be required reading for all thinkers.
Copyright © 2004
The Trii-Zine Ezine
About the author:
Trina L.C. Schiller is a professional network marketer, the publisher of the Internet marketing ezine, "Trii-Zine" and owner of TLC Promotions, as well as a founding publisher at Quikonnex.com, and President of AdsOnQ.com, the Internet's first syndicated advertising agency.
She has also authored the following ebooks:
"Your Beginner's Guide To Syndication"
RSS, Blogs and Syndication... The Facts vs The guruese"
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