Intellectual property refers to creations made by the mind for which exclusive rights are recognized in law form. Under intellectual property laws, owners have rights to intangible assets such as literary, artistic and musical works; as well as inventions and discoveries. In the United States, Intellectual property accounts for 20% of U.S. GDP and nearly 40% of U.S. economic growth. So, what are we doing to protect these rights?
SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) were created to help protect others. However, the cons of the bills would be an increase cost to companies and stifled innovation by requiring constant link checking. However, on the upside, these bills would help American copyright holders as well as shutting down foreign websites that pirate copyrighted material.
While there were collectively 31 Republican and Democratic supporters, only 22 senators opposed the bill. However, even though there were more supporters Senator wise than opposers, both President Obama and Romney have opposed SOPA/PIPA. And on January 20, 2012 the votes on PIPA/SOPA were indefinitely postponed.
If it isn’t SOPA/PIPA that is going to protect us, what will? Working with Congress, the administration, and the private sector to cut off rogue websites and increasing the government’s ability to enforce IP laws are two options to protecting these rights.
Check out the infographic below presented by Likelihood of Confusion to learn more.