Should digital property be given the same protections as physical property?

Essay by glengem June 2003

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In the perfect world there would be a clear distinction between intellectual property in the digital realm and in the physical realm. In the real world this distinction is not so clear cut. However with the advent of such technologies as the mp3 codec, divx codec and the proliferation of digital music, movies and software the pandora's box of file sharing has opened up a whole new way at looking at the world. Another step in the direction in wiring the whole world is the ever cheapening cost of high speed internet access. The paradigm shift has now shifted the focus from not merely on quantity of product and marketing hype but rather on the quality of product.

Another part of the argument against digital file sharing is this argument that it somehow cuts into the profits of the big businesses that own the rights to the music that people are sharing.

However studies have shown that rather than cutting profits has increased profits by 2 fold and also enhanced the market by adding a new benchmark to mark musical accomplishment and that is the category of song or album most downloaded. The musical mass silently votes to show that underrepresented minority of artists who do not show their popularity in ticket sales do have an impact in the musical landscape in the web. On the movie front the proliferation of bootleg copies of movies that are still out in the theatre has created a first preview then see method of watching movies. This type of previewing movies weeds out the inferior movies from the good quality movies. The high cost of the movies these days has left teenagers with little purchase power with one choice, and that is to pirate movies and music. In the realm of software...