The rise of digital information and communication technologies has shaken our established system of intellectual property rights, based on copyrights, patents, and trademarks. This legal edifice was built for the purpose of encouraging creativity and innovation, by giving the producers of “creations of the mind” a limited monopoly over their products. But when these immaterial products can be digitized, transmitted around the world, and endlessly reproduced, at virtually no cost, the concept of intellectual property is challenged to its foundations. Free-culture activists argue that the institution of intellectual property now does more to restrict the free exchange of ideas than to promote progress. A new kind of pirate exploits the growing vulnerabilities of digital technologies. And all users, now having the means to copy and share creative products themselves, face the legal, ethical, and social responsibilities that accompany that new power. This forum asks what can and should be done to make intellectual property better meet the needs of our digital culture.
Join us on Thursday, February 28, 2014.
For more information, contact the
Choices and Challenges Project
Science and Technology in Society
Virgina Tech, Mail Code: 0247
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Phone: 540 231-6476 Fax: 540 231-7013