1. There are many reasons why authors and content creators should protect their intellectual property. Creativity is a crucial part of society. It is important to work together and collaborate with others for the advancement of society, but living in a world where everyone was free to copy the work of others would never work. Authors, artists, and really most Americans work hard at some point in life to create documents, books, music, inventions, websites, movies, photography, and much more original content. Many people earn a living off of their intellectual property and it would not be fair for others to steal their work when they weren't the one to create it. Content creators should also protect their intellectual property so that a record of original work can be recorded and the creator can be given credit for his or her original work.
2. Copyrighting an idea is not allowed. A copyright also only lasts a fixed amount of time. An original work owner can only profit off of an original work for a certain amount of time. This time varies and is much longer for companies than for individuals. After the copyright time is up, the original work is considered public domain and is free for anyone to use. This makes sense as works need to be shared eventually so that our culture can continue to advance. Teaching, reporting news, parody, and critical comment are all examples of instances where original work can be borrowed. There is also a large amount of fair use work that can be borrowed under certain restrictions like the nature of the work, the amount of work borrowed, and the commercial impact of the borrowed work. It is always best to play it safe and cite the work used in a project or assignment so that there is no gray area on copyright laws. Respecting the work of others is a great way to avoid copyright infringement. If I ever question whether or not I have copyrighted someone's work, it is likely that I have in one way or another. It is always best to just cite the content creator whenever copyrighting is in question.