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Management Buzz 06/02

A treaty for copyrights and the benefits of using a headhunter

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This story appears in the June 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Copy & Robbers

Protecting your company's creative works--whether softwareor music--from theft is a good thing. So entrepreneurs should beembracing the World Intellectual Property Organization'sCopyright Treaty. The treaty allows you to protect copyrightedcreations using technologies that limit access. As a practicalmatter, however, the treaty won't affect your business muchimmediately. The reasons are twofold. First, according to JayDratler Jr., the Goodyear Professor of Intellectual Property at theUniversity of Akron School of Law, Japan and the United States arethe only industrial countries who have ratified the treaty. Thatwill change with time, but market conditions will still limit yourability to use the treaty's protections. "Competitionmakes it harder for small companies to sell highly restrictedversions of their works," says Erich W. Merrill, Jr., acopyright attorney at Miller Nash LLP in Portland, Oregon."They simply don't have enough of a reputation to imposelimitations that the customers don't like." As so often inbusiness, what looks good on paper doesn't mean much inreality.

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