Intellectual Property Laws ‘Way Out of Control’: Filmmaker Michael Moore at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago

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Copyright and patent laws are flawed and foster an environment of people eager to sue over infringement, says filmmaker Michael Moore.

Copyright and patent laws are flawed and foster an environment of people eager to sue over infringement, says filmmaker Michael Moore. “I don’t like the copyright law,” Moore said. “As a filmmaker, I like people stealing my stuff.”

Moore made his comments during the sixth annual symposium of the Review of Intellectual Property Law (RIPL) at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. During his speech, Moore noted that the litigious attitude surrounding patent and copyright laws has made progress toward cures for diseases, and even sharing art, more difficult.

“These patent laws, these copyright laws are such that … We’re trying to make it harder and harder for that researcher someplace else to take that guy’s work that he did at MIT and use it over in Berlin, without getting sued. No, he should only be thinking about curing people, or making the world a better place – not about a lawsuit. So this is way out of control.”

“Artists, especially, need protection. We want lawyers to protect us,” Moore continued. “But there comes a point when you have to say, ‘enough is enough,’ and there should be a limit. And there should be freedom, there should be freedom of expression, and people should be able to share this stuff.”

“‘Enough’ is one of the dirtiest words in the vocabulary. It’s not even supposed to be spoken. There’s no such thing as ‘enough,’” he said. “But that gluttonous attitude permeates our society in ways, not just with money, but with a whole bunch of other things.”

Each year, John Marshall’s IP symposium brings together a group of individuals to publish their writings in RIPL. This year’s meeting include how to define art, how courts look at art and appropriation, the importance of cultural heritage, and trademarks as art.

For the second year in a row, John Marshall boasts the 12th-ranked intellectual property law program in the nation, according to the 2015 U.S. News & World Report. The law school has been a consistent leader in intellectual property law since the creation of its IP programs 75 years ago.

For more information about John Marshall, RIPL or the school’s intellectual property program, please contact Christine Kraly at 312-427-2737 ext. 171, or ckraly(at)jmls(dot)edu.

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Christine Kraly
The John Marshall Law School
+1 (312) 427-2737 Ext: 171
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Marilyn Thomas
The John Marshall Law School
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