Intellectual property — Our forgotten constitutional right? | Fosters

This story originally ran on Constitution Day, but we just got hipped to it now. Worth the read.

Cyber-piracy increasingly costs the U.S. economy money that instead of creating and supporting jobs goes into the pockets of criminals. The government must act, and swiftly, by exercising its constitutional responsibility to ensure that this trend is reversed. This may require breaking some new ground and should be done only after careful, principled debate, with respect for liberty and adherence to our other, equally important, constitutional rights.

If the framers could understand this matter in the eighteenth century, we must believe the current Congress can grapple with it today. Previous efforts to update our intellectual property protection system were defeated in a flurry of misinformation. The proposed legislation may have been opaque and overly broad, but the concerns expressed by many conservatives and libertarians were overstated.

On this Constitution Day, let’s remember that even in the Founder’s concept of a limited federal government, it is the proper obligation of that government to secure the property of its citizens against lawlessness. Protecting intellectual property is a property rights issue. There is a difference between liberty and lawlessness: We should favor the former and oppose the latter. On Constitution Day we should think about the protection of intellectual property rights on the Internet as a logical, contemporary extension of the basic Constitutional rights of authors, scientists and inventors that our framers set forth so plainly two and a quarter centuries ago.

READ THE FULL STORY AT FOSTERS:
http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130919/GJOPINION_0102/130919239/-1/FOSOPINION

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