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Intellectual Property Law

Robert L. Kerr

Subject Law
Communication and Media Studies » Communication Studies
Media System » Communication Law and Policy

Key-Topics rights

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Today, the law of intellectual property encompasses the legal concerns represented by →  copyrights , trademarks, patents, design rights, trade secrets, and related concerns. This area of law focuses on protecting the rights of the owners of intellectual property to control when and if a work is reproduced, related adaptations of the work, and distribution and performance of the work. Intellectual property law is in a more dynamic state of tension than ever before. The situation is driven by two historic and interrelated phenomena of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The fact that most intellectual property has been both internationalized and digitized is transforming the field dramatically and rapidly. The works of any nation's creators are now marketed worldwide like never before. And most of those works can be digitally copied and distributed anywhere in the world, in unlimited numbers and virtually instantly via the →  Internet , satellite transmission, and other media (→  Digital Media, History of ; Information and Communication Technology, Development of ). Those two factors represent agents of change with incalculable impact. They offer both opportunities and challenges of staggering proportion to the owners of intellectual property and to the industries built upon its marketing. Intellectual property law today races to keep pace with an epic clash between ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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