The topic of intellectual property is a hot topic in recent years. Intellectual property rights can be summarised by the following laws:
- Copyright law: the rights an artist has concerning his creation
- Patent law: the rights an inventor has concerning his invention of new technologies and procedures
- Trademark law: the rights of trademarks in words and pictures
- and sometimes competition law
Influenced by the European Union, the measures of protection for intellectual property as well as the period of protection have been extended. On the other hand organisations like the "Piratenpartei" (a political party in Austria) are demanding the opposite: a decrease in, or rather, a total deregulation of intellectual property rights.
There are a lot of tensions on the topic of intellectual property because of the different interests of the creative/inventive persons and the music industry. On the one hand, there are those who are in favour of strict regulations and long term protections, and on the other hand, there are those who wish for uncomplicated and low cost use of somebody else’s intellectual property. A compromise has been difficult to reach in the past, due to these conflicting interests.
This building block of the Sustainicum project provides a critical examination of the protection of intellectual property, the diverse opinions existing on intellectual property rights, as well as visions for the future use of intellectual property in cyberspace. The artistic, as well as the technical development of a society, is dependent on the protection of intellectual property. Without it, a sustainable social development cannot take place.
This building block consists of 10 sets of opinions for each subject areas (pages 3 to 5); the students have to assess each opinion as follows
- I agree
- I do not know, does not matter
- I do not agree
The leader of the workshop can do a statistical evaluation of the student’s answers using the evaluation document provided. Following this, potential responses to each opinion are provided, which can be used to form a discussion (pages 6 to 14). The final discussion document contains secondary opinions and opinions of the author (RA Dr. Rainer Beck MMag.art.) which should be compared to the results of the evaluation and discussed (page 15).
The aim of the building block is to provide an overview, whilst raising awareness, of the topics and problems related to intellectual property and facilitating a sustainable social development.