"People recognize intellectual property the same way they recognize real estate. People understand what property is. But it's a new kind of property, and so the understanding uses new control surfaces. It uses a new way of defining the property." - Michael Nesmith
Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind that are given exclusive rights similar to physical private property. Intellectual property can include anything from inventions to literature to art. Types of intellectual property rights include trademarks, copyrights, patents, industrial design rights, trade dress and trade secrets. Intellectual property laws create a financial incentive for innovators and thus is meant to promote progress. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the leading international organization that works to establish mandates and regulations for intellectual property. It is a branch of the United Nations and administers 26 international treaties (1) amongst 186 member states (2).
Cyberlaw concerns all the legal issues related to the internet. The domains covered by cyberlaw are quite broad and includes topics such as privacy, freedom of speech, software licenses, developer and product liabilities, censorship, and internet access. One of the most pressing and controversial issues with cyberlaw is within the issues of jurisdiction. This is because the internet is international and so there are varying takes on where jurisdiction lies, whether it is in the nation of the user, server, or receiver. There are numerous information technology laws and electronic signature laws from various states and nations, all with slightly different regulations.
1. "WIPO-Administered Treaties." WIPO-Administered Treaties. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/
2. "Member States." WIPO. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. http://www.wipo.int/members/en/