Introduction A business can own three types of business property: a) Tangible property; b) Intellectual property; and, c) Real property (Jennings, 2006). In this paper, I will define tangible property and intellectual property. I will outline the different types of intellectual property. I will discuss the factual and historical background of the copyright infringement case of Recording Industry of Association of America (RIAA) against Jammie Thomas-Rasset. I will discuss the legal issues in dispute, the legal process used and, the relevant legal principles.
In addition, I will enumerate the implications of copyright infringement and strategies to avoid infringement claim. Tangible Property According to Jennings (2006), tangible property is the type of property that we can see and touch. Tangible properties are classified as real and personal property. There are specific laws governing tangible property, laws that protect against theft and remedies if someone harms or destroys that property. Intellectual Property.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (2006) website defined intellectual property as creations of the mind, creative works or ideas embodied in a form that can be shared or can enable others to recreate, emulate, or manufacture. The law recognizes the right to own and to control intellectual property. There are four recognized types of intellectual rights: copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets. Copyrights Copyrights protect works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art that have been tangibly expressed.
The Library of Congress registers copyrights which last the life of the author plus 50 years (United States Patent and Trademark Office, 2006). Trademarks Trademarks protect words, names, symbols, sounds, or colors that distinguish goods and services. Trademarks, unlike patents, can be renewed forever as long as they are being used in the business (Jennings, 2006). Patents Patents provide rights for up to 20 years for inventions in three broad categories: Utility patents; Design patents; and, Plant patents.
Duration for utility and plant patents is 20 years from the date of application; a design patent is 14 years (Jennings, 2006). Trade Secrets Trade secrets are information that companies keep secret to give them an advantage over their competitors. The formula for Coca-Cola is the most famous trade secret. The duration is indefinite so long as secret is not disclosed to public (United States Patent and Trademark Office, 2006).
Recording Industry Association of America vs. Jammie Thomas-Rasset In this case, the plaintiffs (Capitol Records et. al.) contends that it is, and at all times has been the copyright owner or licensee of exclusive rights under United States copyright with respect to certain copyrighted sound recordings, and that the defendant, Jammie Thomas Rasset, without permission or consent from the plaintiff, used an online media distribution system known as Kazaa to download the copyrighted recordings and/or distributed the copyrighted recordings to the public. The plaintiffs contend that the defendant actions constitute infringement of its copyright and exclusive rights under copyright (Beckermanlegal.com, 2009).
Thomas-Rasset was the nation’s first sharing defendant to go before a jury. The RIAA has filed more than 30,000 lawsuits and most have settled out of court, agreeing to settlements of between $3,000 and $5. 000 (Harvey, 2009). In 2007, Jammie Thomas-Rasset was found liable for infringing 24 songs and was ordered to pay $222,000 in statutory damages. A second trial was granted by the court because the judge conceded that he gave faulty jury instructions (Kravets, 2009).
In 2009, a federal jury ruled that Jammie Thomas-Rasset willfully violated the copyrights on 24 songs, and was ordered to pay $80,000 a song for a total of $1. 92 million (Harvey, 2009). In testimony, Thomas-Rasset denied she shared any songs and raised the possibility that her children or ex-husband might have done it. References Harvey, M. (2009, June 19). Single-mother digital pirate Jammie Thomas-Rasset must pay $80,000 per song. Retrieved May 23, 2010, from http://technology. timesonline. co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article6534542. ece Jennings, M. M. (2006). Business: Its Legal, Ethical, and Global Environment (7th ed. ).
Mason,Ohio: Thomson West. Kravets, D. (2009, August 31). Last-Ditch Effort to Scuttle RIAA File Sharing Verdict. Retrieved May 22, 2010, from http://www. wired. com/threatlevel/2009/08/scuttlefilesharingverdict/#more-9029 The United States Patent and Trademark Office (2006). What is Intellectual Property? Retrieved May 22, 2010, from http://uspto. gov/web/offices/ac/ahrpa/opa/museum/1intell. htm.