|FROM ||Ruben I Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [hangout] Greenspan on Copyright
Greenspan says balance needed in protecting intellectual property
WASHINGTON (AP) -- As the fruits of ever-changing technology play an
increasing role in the U.S. economy, the country must strike the right
balance in developing legal protections for innovative ideas or
"intellectual property," Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said
"Are the protections sufficiently broad to encourage innovation but not
so broad as to shut down follow-on innovation?" Greenspan asked in
remarks prepared for delivery via a satellite video link to a Federal
Reserve Bank of Atlanta conference in Sea Island, Ga.
"How appropriate is our current system -- developed for a world in which
physical assets predominated -- for an economy in which value
increasingly is embodied in ideas rather than tangible capital?"
A copy of Greenspan's remarks was distributed in Washington.
Among the thorny issues raised by intellectual property rights is how to
define precisely what should be legally protected by a copyright or
The evolution of the Internet into a communications tool that people use
at home and at work has raised intellectual property rights issues
concerning musicians, movie makers and others in the new digital world.
"Ownership of physical property is capable of being defended by police,
the militia or private mercenaries," Greenspan said. "Ownership of ideas
is far less easily protected."
In his speech, Greenspan did not talk about the current state of the
economy or discuss the future course of interest rate policy.
Greenspan and his Fed colleagues last month decided to hold interest
rates at a 41-year low of 1.25 percent, saying they would keep a close
eye on economic developments surrounding the war.
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