Book Summary: Chapter 12

“The law protects people’s personal property, whether tangible (such as a computer or a car) or intangible (such as singing a new song before writing it down on paper or recording it). If a person writes a magazine article, it is against the law to take that content without permission. The law protects what is written on the paper—the author’s expression of his or her ideas. No one but the author may publish that article unless the writer consents. Nor may the article be made into a movie or used in any other way without the author’s permission. Copyright law considers the article “intangible property” and gives the article legal protection” – Chapter Overview

Personal property can be defined in many ways. These can be tangible objects such as a car or intangible like singing a song before writing it down on paper/record it. Either way, there is a code of ethics that journalists must follow when covering a story. Certain laws have been put in place to protect people from other who may intrude on their property. Any way you look at it, there has to be respect.

“Similarly, trademark law protects branding such as product names, advertising slogans, movie and book titles, and cartoon characters. Patent law protects inventions is not discussed at length in this chapter because it generally falls outside the law of mass communication. Patent, trademark, and copyright statutes all are categorized as intellectual property law. Generally, intellectual property laws—particularly patent and copyright statutes—are intended to encourage creativity. Ensuring that people will benefit financially from their creations encourages them to continue being creative. If people could use others’ intellectual creations without permission, there would be no financial incentive to write, paint, or invent” – Chapter Overview

The true question is… How many times do people infringe on others trademarks? Similarly, how many people do not protect themselves by a trademark and are being exposed without even knowing it. Also, what if they do know it but are unable to do anything about it because they do not own the trademark. The ideas of protecting yourself goes hand in hand with every day life, and journalists doing their job. Ask yourself, is this protected? Am I able to use this name?

:A copyright is an exclusive legal right protecting intellectual creations from unauthorized use. Copyright law balances the creator’s right to restrict the use of his or her work and society’s belief that some uses should be allowed without the creator’s permission. The backbone of U.S. copyright law is the Copyright Act of 1976. In 1998, Congress adopted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to incorporate the Internet and digital media more squarely into copyright law” – Chapter Overview

A copyright would work well with non created things. Let’s say you have an idea but need to protect it. You need to utilize the laws of this country and apply for a trademark, patent, or copyright. Familiarize yourself with these options, and utilize them for yourself. and especially when reporting on certain topics and/or people.


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