Intellectual property

Tina Piper speaks about the importance of protecting one’s work and copyright laws

by Laura Imperiale

Guest speaker and McGill Arts graduate Tina Piper delivered a speech about intellectual property law and how today’s generation uses it at the Humanities and Public Life Conference on Thursday, March 25, in 5B.16.

She started her speech by clarifying what Intellectual property really is: A legal right that excludes other people from using what you’ve created.

She also went on to say that there are many professions where intellectual property might be an issue, such as doctors revealing their medical procedures, comedians revealing their jokes, as well as magicians revealing their tricks.

Piper explained how intellectual property is mainly about being credited and rewarded for one’s artistic creation, without people stealing other people’s ideas and getting credit for it.

Intellectual property was also said to be an issue regarding newspapers, since certain newspapers copy and paste articles from other newspapers. One cannot copyright facts and news as one’s very own work as it is factual information.

Piper went on and also spoke about the norms that intellectual property have. It is against prohibiting medical procedures, joint ownership of jokes, exposing “tricks” to strangers, and against copying exact recipes from chefs.

“Canada is a hotbed for piracy,” Piper said.

She mentioned how in Canada, the copyright rule is that the author’s creation is patented for their rest of their life plus 50 years after their death.

However, people may use an author’s intellectual property for research purposes or to make statements as long as the author is credited.

The Creative Commons Association and how it works to retain copyright was also discussed.

“[The Creative Commons is sued to] crystallize the idea of sharing,” Piper said. “People use Youtube to get recognition, [not the leave their works on] their hard drive.”

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