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Re: [OT] Intelectual Property Law

Brad Alexander writes:
> The thing I don't understand is that the content producers bang on
> about "intellectual property" which, if I am understanding correctly
> (and I believe I am) is the *content*.

"Intellectual property" is a right established by statute.  In the case
of copyright it is the exclusive right to create copies of a protected
work.  Under copyright law a copy is a _tangible object_.

> ...why do I have to buy the *same* IP every time the industry decides
> to change formats?

You didn't buy the IP.  That would mean that you acquired the exclusive
right to make copies.  You bought a _copy_: a tangible thing.  The
copyright owner retained the right to create more copies[1].

It's all about copies and the creation and distribution thereof.  Copies
are _things_.  That includes a copy on your hard disk: the disk is a
tangible thing and the copy is that portion of it on which the copy
resides.  IP is about abstract rights.  When you acquire a copy of a
work you do not acquire any of those rights: just the thing.  Quit
thinking about copies as immaterial abstractions.

[1] The copyright owner may or may not have granted you some limited
rights to make copies under some limited circumstances as part of a
contract entered into when you purchased the copy from them.  In
addition, under some circumstances the USA copyright statute grants you
limited rights to make copies.
John Hasler

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