Licensing and Intellectual Property and Security

By Lawrence C. Miller, Peter H. Gregory

Given the difficulties in defining and prosecuting computer crimes, many prosecutors seek to convict computer criminals on more traditional criminal statutes, such as theft, fraud, extortion, and embezzlement. Intellectual property rights and privacy laws, in addition to specific computer crime laws, also exist to protect the general public and assist prosecutors.

The CISSP candidate should understand that because of the difficulty in prosecuting computer crimes, prosecutors often use more traditional criminal statutes, intellectual property rights, and privacy laws to convict criminals. In addition, you should also realize that specific computer crime laws do exist.

Intellectual property is protected by U.S. law under one of four classifications:

  • Patents
  • Trademarks
  • Copyrights
  • Trade secrets

Intellectual property rights worldwide are agreed upon, defined, and enforced by various organizations and treaties, including the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), World Customs Organization (WCO), World Trade Organization (WTO), United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), European Union (EU), and Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs).

Licensing violations are among the most prevalent examples of intellectual property rights infringement. Other examples include plagiarism, software piracy, and corporate espionage.

Digital rights management (DRM) attempts to protect intellectual property rights by using access control technologies to prevent unauthorized copying or distribution of protected digital media.