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.
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.
 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.