Elpub : Digital Library : Works

Paper 0017:
ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING AND THE EVOLVING INTERNATIONAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY REGIME

id 0017
authors Langenberg, David
year 2000
title ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING AND THE EVOLVING INTERNATIONAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY REGIME
source Electronic Publishing 2000. Electronic Publishing in the Third Millenium: Proceedings of an ICCC/IFIP conference held at Kaliningrad/Svetlogorsk, Russia August 17-19 2000/Edited by Peter Linde, John W.T.Smith, Elena Emilianova. Washington D.C.: ICCC Press, 2000. 239 p. ISBN: 1-891365-07-X
summary As we leave the Industrial Age behind us and move into the Information Age, the transition from “bricks and mortar” commerce to electronic commerce and from paper to electronic publishing pose major challenges for international intellectual property regimes.

Electronic commerce has taken off. Whatever concerns about consumer acceptance there were five years ago have given way to “click and mortar” business models where e-commerce has an established role complementing traditional commerce. The digital publishing market segment, approximately $8 billion today, is expected to reach $70 billion by 2004.1 A significant portion of the GDPs of the industrialized countries is now based on the production and distribution of knowledge. While there are still issues that need to be dealt with, primarily the infrastructure of consistent standards for transactions, digital commerce in digital property will certainly continue to grow.2

Copyright and patent law worldwide, of vital importance to the production and distribution of knowledge, are struggling to keep pace with advances in technology. Intellectual property experts speak of the “growing incoherence” and “incipient breakdown” of the international intellectual property system.”3 There is the possibility that much of traditional copyright law may be marginalized.

Patents, too, are troubled. Two years ago the United States Patent and Trademarks Office began awarding patents for Internet business methods, such “one-clicking shopping” and “name your own price” reverse auctions.4 The awarding of these “junk” patents, which seem to fly in the face of the Patent Office’s requirement that an invention be original and not obvious, may pose a threat to innovation in e-commerce, since entrepreneurs would potentially be forced to license these patents before starting up their competing Web sites.

The ability of an ordinary individual to make perfect digital copies and send them anywhere around the world undermines traditional copyright markets. Because of that fact, publishers have moved into electronic publishing with some hesitation. However, technical means are on the horizon that can restrict access to and uses of digitized works, which raises the specter of “all-consuming copyright owner control.”5

My perspective in all of this is that of a librarian who attempts to deal with practical issues relating to copyright on my campus. An appreciation of the evolving and complex interrelationship between library services and copyright law should be a part of every librarian’s expertise. At this conference I hope to gain a clearer understanding of developments in intellectual property outside the United States and of the technology that will drive those developments.

keywords New publishing models, copyright
series ELPUB:2000
type full paper
content file.pdf (143,444 bytes)
discussion No discussions. Post discussion ...
ratings
urn:nbn urn:nbn:se:elpub-0017
last changed 2008/07/04 07:19
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