"INTERNET IS MOST PROFOUND INFLUENCE ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
SINCE THE PRINTING PRESS"
Envisional points to unparalleled opportunities and concomitant threats
as WIPO inaugurates World Intellectual Property Day
To support World Intellectual Property Day tomorrow (www.WIPO.org),
Internet monitoring specialists Envisional today claimed that the
Internet has had the biggest impact on intellectual property rights
since the invention of the printing press. By freeing content from the
physical format in which it appears, the Internet has enabled
intellectual property to be made available to a global audience of
hundreds of millions. However, now that literally any kind of content -
movies, books, music - is easily and freely available for download over
the Internet, Envisional pointed to the ever increasing need for
accurate monitoring to ensure that intellectual property holders' rights
are protected and rewarded.
Ben Coppin, Chief Operating Office of Envisional, said, "Before the
invention of the printing press in the 15th Century, intellectual
property could only be captured by the painstaking process of
hand-writing books. Gutenberg's invention was the first technology that
enabled the mass reproduction of intellectual property. Since then, many
other technologies - radio, movies, television, vinyl records,
videotape, CD, etc - have been introduced. However, while each of these
media was subject to copyright abuse, wholesale infringement of
intellectual property rights was expensive and relatively easy to track.
The Internet is a whole new ball game - the ease with which content can
be digitised and disseminated, its size and global nature, and the
anonymity of cyberspace have changed the rules for intellectual property
rights more profoundly than any invention since the printing press."
Clare Griffiths, a lawyer at Intellectual property specialists Briffa,
explained, "Before the advent of the Internet, large scale copyright
infringers had to make significant investments in the infringement: they
needed production facilities, raw materials and physical distribution
channels. This limited the problem mainly to large operators in specific
geographies who could be relatively easily identified and controlled.
Today, however, it is a simple matter for individuals with only a PC and
a web-site to copy virtually any kind of content and use the Internet to
distribute it worldwide - instantly. Additionally, while they can easily
get to your market, it's often much harder to get to them - it can be
very difficult and time-consuming to find out who's behind the
infringement and, even if that is possible, the ease and speed with
which infringers can take down sites and relocate them means that
pinning them down in a jurisdiction in which they can be sued can be
The creation of copyright laws in the early 18th century coincided with
the widespread adoption of the printing press and the invention of each
new technology has hastened the introduction of legislation protecting
the intellectual property rights of content creators. The
well-publicised legal action taken against Napster shows the
difficulties involved in regulating internet copyright abuse. Research
conducted by Envisional indicates that e-books may be the next major
area of copyright abuse with the latest Harry Potter book made available
for free download on the Internet on the day of its publication. Today,
the publishing world in its broadest sense is struggling to come to
terms with the impact of the Internet in terms of both the
opportunities and the threats it poses to their business.
Coppin said, "The Internet has the potential for allowing intellectual
property holders to profit as never before from the content they have
created. Napster argued in court that their technology was a fantastic
opportunity for the record labels to allow huge audiences to sample
material from unheard bands at virtually no cost. However, the business
models and - just as importantly - the regulations and the controls have
yet to be worked out. In the meantime, there is massive potential for
copyright fraud that will cost intellectual property holders tens of
millions of pounds. This is a technology problem that only technology
can solve - companies are looking to innovations such as our Discovery
Engine to combat this threat through monitoring abuse of their
intellectual property rights and taking appropriate action."
About Envisional's Discovery Engine
Envisional uses an advanced, rules-based language to automate a
discovery process beyond the scope of human capability. It helps
businesses find out what is being said about them, their clients and
competitors or a particular field of research.
It aims to help organisations in three distinct ways:
Revenues - For content publishers, the Internet has enabled intellectual
property theft - of the spoken word, still and moving images and music -
on an almost unimaginable scale. The discovery engine identifies
breaches of copyright, enabling organisations to take appropriate
Reputations - For global brands, the Internet is the world's biggest
rumour mill. Many of these rumours are generated by individuals with
axes to grind and are extremely damaging. In 1999, a rumour started
spreading that KFC had created a GM chicken without a beak or feathers
for use in their restaurants. If this kind of misinformation is left
unnoticed and unchecked, it can bring a company to its knees.
Research - the Internet is a vital source for those involved in research
of any kind. However, the thousands of different URLs being returned by
search engines for any query waste huge amounts of a researcher's time
and money. Companies need to automate the drudgery of ploughing through
these URLs in order to improve researchers productivity.
Traditional search engines cannot provide any real precision in
information retrieval, making it difficult, expensive and time consuming
for organisations to address these problems.
Envisional's Discovery Engine technology addresses precisely these
Contact Brodeur Bfour
Iain Frazer-Halpin/Matthew Ward
Ifrazerh@brodeurbfour.com or email@example.com
Telephone +44 (0) 1753 448840 / 448875
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