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Hackers and the Evolution of Intellectual Property Rights Introduction Based on Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, theft isalso, "The act of stealing; specifically, the felonious taking and removing of personal property, using an intent to deprive the rightful owner of the same" (Webster's 2). Prior to the introduction of moveable type, nobody had cause to apply this concept to information as opposed to physical property. If you were to sneak a book, the act was easily recognized at the same moral color as stealing a horse, a nugget of gold, or some other physical object. The thief?s ownership of the stolen item comprised the statutory owner?s lack of this, a reduction both actual and quantifiable. Today, theft sounds that the hazier concept, as a result of popularization and codification of Intellectual Property (IP) rights. IP rights differ from regular property rights because they signify that an individual's right of possession over "intangible things" (Kinsella 3). Potentially, the most important such matters are patents and copyrights. Patents protect inventions, and copyrights protect "original forms of expression" (Fisher 1). In both cases, the right to possession amounts to possession of an idea, not a physical object. Intellectual Property Rights in america The first American federal copyright law was enacted in the first year following the nations ratified the Constitution. The initial protection extended was for a span of fourteen decades, with one renewal possible at the close of the term supposing the continuing survival of this author. As famously stated in an 1853 federal circuit court ruling over Uncle Tom?s Cabin, such protections provided for government intervention simply to protect the author?s, ? Exclusive right to print...