Introduction to Computer Information Systems and Ethics

This text provides a comprehensive overview of how information systems relate to ethics. While reading, consider the relationship between ethical action and legal remedies. Many people think that the ethical issues raised by new technologies are just the same issues in a new form. Do you agree or disagree? Has technology created a new class of ethical issues? What are the difficulties raised by creating new laws and regulations to solve these issues?

Intellectual Property Rights

Trademark License FAQ

Intellectual Property Rights are the legal rights which creators are entitled to. Creators are the people who produced intellectual property which are creative works that they have originally made. With these rights, creators can choose what can legally be done to the work and other rules that need to be followed. There are a variety of original works that can have property rights. Some of these include written work, drawings, graphics, and many more. Having these rights are very important because it allows someone to claim their intellectual ideas as their own. There is a company called WIPO which are a self-funding agency that has copyrights, patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and also geographical indications used in e-commerce. This system is around because they recognize that creative works need to be protected by law and that they are around to support a creative environment. This company even has a magazine which displays the work that they have protected and boosts the work of creators worldwide. They also run workshops and have different forms of training to help innovators improve their skills and become familiar with new developments. The ability to have an agency support you and your work is a great step in the world of creativity, and keeping those intellectual property rights is what will continue to help creators flourish.


Copyrights are there to protect individuals' work, such as literature, art and music. Enacted in 1976, Copyrights give the original creator rights over what they created. In the case where the creator dies, they still retain rights 70 years after their death. So let's say someone buys a C.D. of a certain artist. Even though it is now their property, the artist still holds rights over the songs. Often times with trying to prevent piracy, many things will have digital watermarks, a slight change to content that most cannot see but identifies the copyright holder. All of this is necessary due to complaints of infringement. These measures must be put in place to protect original work.

Trademark Symbols

Trademarks are words, phrases, symbols, designs, or a combination of these that are used as an identifier in order to help consumers identify and distinguish one product/service from another one which might be similar. This is also referred to as their "logo". Trademarks are usually registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPO) and use the letter R enveloped in a circle next to the logo to signify this. Trademarks which are claimed but unregistered are allowed to use the print tm alongside they're logo to represent that a claim has been made so as to deter others from using it. The purpose of a trademark is to protect the logo from being used by competitors who may want to "knock off" a more reputable company, though trademarks also protect domain names as well. Many companies want to set up a website using a domain name which matches their product so a consumer can instinctively find their web address, and a trademark will often safeguard against another company using it.

Patents are similar to Copyrights and Trademarks but protect a person's invention rather than their literary accomplishments or company logos. Patents are usually granted for a 20 year period and legally authorize the sole rights of an individual to manufacture or produce that which s/he invented. Often it is a unique product but it can also be a unique process such as the Born-Haber Cycle. Having your item patented, you are given the right to ban others from selling, making, using or importing your item for this certain number of years.

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