The digital revolution has brought into focus the difficulty in protecting intellectual property, especially across national borders when the broadcast or transfer of protected materials and ideas is technically so easy. The use of peer-to-peer (P2P) technologies, where bits of files are passed between many users and then aggregated back into the complete product (using tools like BitTorrent) has made it even more difficult for organisations to protect illegal downloading and broadcasting of copyright materials such as music and sports events, and is used by BitTorrent communities to encourage free sharing of software.
Read the article European Commission announces legal blueprint for digital piracy in intellectual property rights overhaul (you can do this in the window below or follow the previous link to read the article in a separate window).
Consider the problems the EU commission is facing ensuring the right level of protection of intellectual property rights in the EU single market. How should it balance the need to protection IP owners from digital piracy with their role of stimulating economic growth in the digital industry? Should governments protect IPR if this seriously restricts entrepreneurship?
Even if laws are developed to protect digital IPR, the nature of the virtual environment and the increase in social media sites can make it more difficult for the creators of artistic works to protect their ownership. The article Your photos? Not so according to many popular photo-sharing apps identifies some of the issues of sharing photographs on social media sites such as Flickr and Twitpic.