On Wednesday, news broke of Google finally receiving a patent
for their “graphical user interface.” The patent, five years in the
making, puzzled just about everyone; how could something so simple
require a patent? A day earlier, stories swirled of a popular Apple app
developer who had his application rejected by the company
because a feature in his product was too similar to their ubiquitous
“chat bubbles,” which Apple claimed they have trademarked. The common
thread between the stories is the topic of intellectual property
rights, which has become increasingly popular in wake of the rise of social media.
With the help of Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook and more, information
can spread across the world in a matter of minutes. We can access these
programs from our phones, computers and iPods and know what’s going on
before it even reaches the mainstream media. With all of these
different methods, it’s easy for the true source to be lost in the
shuffle. People can claim ownership of something, and the owner may
never find out. The opportunity for someone to start a blog and
essentially aggregate content from just about anywhere has troubled the
news industry especially.
Recently, the Associated Press released a statement regarding copyright infringement, and has started charging anyone an
upwards of $25 to redistribute single quotes, even if they attribute it
properly. The AP, and many others, have tirelessly developed tools to
scan the web for copyright infringement. Other times, it may be found
but rarely reported. For instance, the work of a little known blogger
won’t be recognizable on the New York Times, but the work of the New
York Times will be recognized on a little known blog.
What is copyright worth? As stories of the decline in sales of
newspapers continue to be reported, as well as the possible shift in
newspapers going completely digital, is it really worth these companies
to go after such seemingly insignificant details?
Readers look to mainstream media sources because of the reputation
they’ve built over the years, and the influence that they have. With
the shift towards digital, they lose some control over their content;
news and information cannot be…
To read more about information and news, go to Sparxoo, a digital marketing, branding and business development blog.