The Perils of Copyright

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Posted by Michael Brazier on February 05, 19100 at 01:55:20:

Here's a possibly interesting question: what are the various colonies'
attitudes towards the concept of "intellectual property", AKA copyright
and patent laws? It's an area of the law that currently (RL) is in flux,
due to the advent of computer networks; therefore it's highly likely that
(BIGV) the colonies have evolved very different legal codes governing it.
Such differences are obviously a major concern for the Process, and for
anyone proposing to transfer important ideas from one colony to another.
They might also provide some interesting scenario hooks.

For example, let's assume a Nova citizen travels to another colony, and
takes along an AI he owns personally, or one owned by a company he works
for. What is the AI's legal status in the various colonies? And what
happens to a copy of the AI, if it's created outside the Nova system?

Or assume a case of technological "theft" between colonies -- someone
learns a useful technique on one colony, then goes to another and sets up
a business around that technique. Would the inventor be able to assert a
legal claim against this person? Could the "thief", contrariwise, lock
out any subsequent importers of the technique?

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