The present article is written by Jayant Gaikwad under the Online Article Writing Competition organised by LeDroit India discussing about IP in the hands of IT.

“Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a big idea turn into an innovation.” A quote very rightly said, but not seen in a complete scenario. We live in the world that is growing with a high pace. Certainly, the race of getting a hold of new technology has been at peak.

As the world is changing, new inventions, innovations, new businesses have come up, and the rate of introduction of new ‘stuff’ in the market has also been increasing. Creativity has also made its way to this relatively new platform and has acquired great success. Information technology in the 21st century has proven a massive leap into new opportunities and also provided with a lot more new ways to exploit the copyrights and patents, as the world is now close enough to be reached on your fingertips. After the evolution into microprocessor, the technologies have become compact, portable and handy. This has helped the technology to reach a lot more hands than ever.

Oeuvre and Social Media influence:

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram have taken social media to next level. The creators now directly reach to people. The promotion of variety of different creations like movies, novels, books and various businesses has become simple and easier. With affordable cost of promotion, arts can reach far and wide and can get considered, clearing way to more opportunities for the artists. Thanks to smartphones, the works of artists become available and accessible to people right into their hands. This accessibility though, makes it prone to theft. Being easily available also implies being easily exploitable. The IPR are not sufficiently enforceable to such cases as ensuring fair usage is not completely possible. While social media platforms do make sure that there is no intended copyright infringement, it cannot be entirely blocked.

EBooks as IP:

EBooks are the new ways of reading. The reference books, novels, self-help, diet, hobbies, music books are all available as eBooks these days. Hard copies of these books are also available, but eBooks are cheaper, don’t consume space and of course, can be read anywhere and anytime. Buying them is also simple and quick. EBooks are an affordable option for writers as publishing becomes cheaper and being on internet, have long reach. But here again, the easy availability leads to easy exploitation, uncontrolled reproduction and piracy. If one wants to share an eBook with a friend, all he can do is send a copy through social media or mail it to the friend, not aware that he has infringed the author’s copyright. Writers and copyright owners have faced huge financial losses because their work was stolen or redistributed illegally. The mishandling and manipulation of the property cannot be completely extinguished, although with proper management and regulations, can be minimised.

The copy-paste function is a very handy tool, helpful to everyone in their work. But, it becomes a strong infringement tool for copyright content. This function has given birth to the destructive concept of Plagiarism. Many projects, essays, articles, dissertations and other written materials have been a victim of plagiarism and many have taken birth out of plagiarism.

IT Aids:

India is a fast growing and a large economy in the world. And, it becomes very challenging to protect intellectual property rights.  We have a long waiting for patent issues. Even when the use of IT is becoming a wide application, the use is limited in the law reinforcement section. There are various tools that can be used to make long and hectic processes more simpler. Using dedicated software for data management, resource management and their processing can help save workload as well as lot of time. Accessing the data then becomes quick and the data remains organised and managed. Legal research solutions also keep the data updated with every change in regulations.

The applications for IP filing have increased at a high rate, and the management and processing them has become a tough job. Introduction of automation processes is taking place for the assistance. Automatic processing of applications saves time and money. Fast processing helps in quick and correct action to be taken without manually analysing and monitoring of the process. Automation of various services is being applied all around the globe. While it stands as a great support, it is found difficult to check accuracy and validation of the problem.

Use of artificial intelligence is being carried out for determining various laws applicable for certain issue and assist law attorneys to form strategies for law enforcement. While all of it is still in development phase, it is expected to surpass legal sector altogether and provide direct legal solutions to the general public. Also, having a feedback and monitoring system keeps the issue progress transparent with the client. The client can do real-time monitoring of the progress of any IP issue raised by him/her.

Conclusion:

Information Technology makes it easier in having a global outlook of an issue and variations in the Intellectual Property Rights with various nations. IT leads to a very effective and efficient use of resources with saving time, space and finance. Filing applications online promotes faster gathering and processing of information and distinguishing individual problems and organising accordingly. With time, the developing software have become capable in their functions and there is a decline in the errors and other unknown issues. As IT is evolving, efforts are being made to achieve a redundant and reliable software applications for solving such problems.

Technology itself is neither good or bad. People are good or bad. It is the man in this man-machine interface(IT) that can decide what output we want. We cannot make a machine of perfection that can restrict infringement and misuse of intellectual assets, we need human awareness about the regulations and correct practices to stop the pirated exploitation of the intellectual property. IPR are the foundation of the software industry and it is only a symbiotic relationship that can help and strengthen both of them.

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Jayant Gaikwad, Second runner up of the Online Article Writing Competition.

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