Distributed Intellectual Property Rights is a
proposed system for regulating intellectual property that replaces
the copy-based model of Copyright with a rights-based
model. A new regime for our digital world that still grants the
original author some singular rights for a limited term but also
allows consumers to acquire rights to the intellectual product and
protects the common right of access for all.
Copyright originated in an age where the expression
of the intellectual product in physical form, such as a book, intrinsically
helped to limit and regulate the copying of the creative product.
This allowed the copyright regime, where society grants sole reproduction
rights to the author for a limited term, to function successfully
over the last two centuries. Today the situation is changing, in
this information age where digital information can be easily copied
at minimal cost this natural physical limitation to unauthorised
copying is removed. It is therefore time to reconsider the principle
of the copyright model.
Copyright, by definition, regulates the physical
copying of the intellectual product not the use and access to the
intangible intellectual content itself. The system proposed here
changes the regulatory emphasis to identifying and protecting the
creative content, the intangible intellectual component of the intellectual
product. This new regime will grant collective rights to an intangible
intellectual product and the Distributed
Intellectual Property Rights (DIPR) system will regulate access
to these collective rights. The 'social
contract' is upheld by ensuring common rights to the intellectual
content both during the term of the authors controlling interest
and after the product passes into the public domain.