Intellectual Property Rights And Digital Pirating

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INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS AND DIGITAL PIRATING
Luke Telfer

STATEMENT OF THE ISSUE
The idea of intellectual property can be traced back to ancient Greece with the first known reference involving the protection of culinary recipes developed by chefs. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, “intellectual property refers to creations of the mind: inventions; literary and artistic works; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.”
The violation of intellectual property rights can take many forms, however the main ethical issue to be examined here is that of digital piracy of copyrighted artistic works and of the variety that involves individual consumption of such material (as opposed to blatant profiteering of the
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ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
There are several approaches to defending the idea of intellectual property rights, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Such approaches generally take one of three largely teleological forms: personality theory, utilitarian rationale, and Lockean arguments. Each of these forms advocates for the value of intellectual property rights in general and not specifically toward any particular type of intellectual property.
Personality Theory
Personality-based justifications for intellectual property stem largely from Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s ideas on human will, personality, and freedom. Hegel insists that human will is the fundamental property of existence and that our will is perpetually trying to achieve actuality. This eternal struggle is therefore the essence of personality and it is in part manifested externally through our property. With this view in mind, creative works are necessarily the property of the creator and the creator ought to have complete control over them.
This is an important view for many forms of creation, but it is relatively unclear in how it pertains to digital copies of a creation. For example, defacing a classical painting would be seen as immoral even if the perpetrator has legally acquired ownership of the painting because the creator still has certain rights over the creation. However, if a
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