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The internet revolution should not undermine intellectual property protection.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/30/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,135 times Debate No: 20779
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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This debate is being initiated via SmartPhone. I am new to this site, so please excuse the informality and simplicity of this message.

It's interesting to observe how the internet explosion of the last decade has translated into the significant erosion of intellectual property protection under its jurisdiction-lacking umbrella. Millions of individuals who enjoy both the anonymity and unity that the internet provides, engage in acts of piracy on a day-to-day basis. Nothing seems to be immune to theft as everything from music, movies, documents and images, to games, applications, trademarks and patents are being stolen at unprecedented rates. Intellectual property right holders are (and have already been) clearly suffering significant losses in revenue as a result. In fact, many authors and holders of intellectual property now resort to earning financial compensation by way of alternative means to the internet, for example: merchandise sales, touring and aggressive direct marketing. The reality for them, is that anything digitally produced is subject to the large-scale piracy that the internet is currently unable to defend against. Individuals are free to roam about the virtual landscape, claim whatever they chose -- limited only by the level of his or her own greed -- and do so without any significant fear of legal sanction.

In sum, it is evident that without adequate laws governing the internet, theft is thriving -- even expressly encouraged -- and intellectual property rights will continue to be breached. It may only be a matter of time before the virtual world becomes governed by an "internet constitution."


Whether the Internet revolution should or should not undermine intellectual property is based on the grounds of whether intellectual property is or is not an actual valid notion.

I will commence with a simple but adequate account of my position:

An idea action cannot be owned by any group or any individual as property.
Debate Round No. 1


My friend, thank you for replying. You are absolutely correct in that an idea or thought, in and of itself, cannot be owned. However, for the purposes of this debate, I believe you have failed to draw a distinction between the meaning of 'idea' and the meaning of 'intellectual property.' Please correct me if I'm wrong, and my apologies in advance.


The concept that ideas can be property of people is fundamental to intellectual property, as the name so nicely indicates.

For example (the example will be in brackets), a copyright prevents an individual from recreating that said copyrighted product (a book), even by only using his own property (ink and paper). In this situation the copyright owner (author of the book) owns the idea of that product (not just the paper the owner has written it on). This is the only logical way to bridge over the copyrighted material to another person's physical property, through the property of an idea. Therefore the person that has been granted this right owns the idea and ergo all manifestations of that idea.

Once a group or an individual asserts that they own an idea, through a copyright or a patent, they assert the right, as with any other type of property to use force to defend it and gain justice.

There is only one round left so I will have to sum up the main arguments in one simplified sentence. There is a small chance that this will only lead to more clearing up of definitions and such proceedings but it is more likely that you will more fully understand my position.

The easiest analogy that springs to mind is the common PSAs that make the statement "You wouldn't steal a car." and then compare that to downloading.
To make this car situation much more accurately analogous to what is actually happening in reality you would have to change a few things up. "Stealing" is not rational and immoral because it denies the owner of that property access to his product. When one wants to compare what actually happens when you download something to "stealing" a car, a more accurate description of that would be: You drive past my house with a new car, I look at your car and with my own tools and own material recreate that exact same car and drive that around. If I would have stolen it you would no longer have his car, in this scenario you still do.

You probably are not going down the route of "you wouldn't steal a car", so I will let you make your arguments in your next post.
Debate Round No. 2


the.advocate forfeited this round.


I will not any further argument, but just to conclude things:

I see the seemingly endless ability to duplicate information and ideas as a positive to a society. The oppression
of this function is at flux in the momentary state, with a glimpse of hope that a new society, an informational society if you wish, will emerge.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Sapiens 6 years ago
"An idea action cannot be owned by any group or any individual as property."

Should be:

"An idea cannot be owned by any group or any individual as property."
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