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Intellectual Property

Lesson on Intellectual Property and the Internet:

What is Intellectual Property? Why is important or necessary to protect original works or ideas over the Internet? What are software licenses? Under what circumstances are these licenses violated? What are the legal consequences of using software unlawfully? When I use illegal software, what harm does it do? What are the implications when I share music, video and software over the Internet?


  • Understand what is Intellectual Property
  • Understand how and why IP is vulnerable to abuse over the Internet
  • Understand how you can create Intellectual Property and how you can  gain from these benefits
  • Write an essay or a statement of how you can respect IP over the Internet to demonstrate understanding of IP rights

Questions for discussion:

  • What is Intellectual Property (IP)? IP refers to creations of the mind. How does IP derive its creative and commercial value?
  • What are Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)? To whom are these rights awarded? Do owners of ideas, inventions and creative expressions have the status of property owners? Like tangible property, IPR give owners the right to decide how others access or use of their intellectual property.
  • How is Intellectual Property different from tangible property? IP in digital form is easily stolen, copied and distributed – can you copy and distribute a computer as easily and as quickly as you can with its software? Technologies such as Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing networks allow the easy distribution of unlicensed copyrighted music, video and computer software for illegal downloading.
  • How do IP owners protect their original works or ideas? Because IP is vulnerable to theft and abuse, they are protected by copyright.
    • What is copyright? Copyright is a form of property. It protects works such as novels, computer software, sound recordings, films, and television and radio broadcasts. Can you give some examples of works that are protected by copyright? What rights does the author or owner of a copyright enjoy?
    • Software and licenses: What are software licenses? When you purchase commercial software, you are actually purchasing a license to use it, and not the actual software. That license is what tells you how many times you can install the software and governs how you use that software. What happens if you disregard this license? Is it violating copyright? What are the risks?
  • Can you imagine yourself as a creator of Intelllectual Property? A musician, artist, author, software programmer, or film producer? How would you feel if your creative work is stolen and distributed around the world, without you benefiting from your own creation? How would you go about protecting your own creative creations?

Additional resources beyond b4usurf.org:

Internet Crime
Child Pornography
Resources for Cyberethics
Welcome to MediAction! ::.
Software Piracy
Internet Fraud
Cybercrime and Hacking
Child Internet Safety Resources
Internet Safety
PC World - Cybercrime
Criminals enlisting teens as online crime
Internet Dating
Social Networking Sites: Safety Tips for Tweens and Teens
What is the difference between viruses, worms, and Trojans?