Intellectual property (IP) is original creative work, such as inventions, music, brand or design, that has been developed to such a stage that it can be owned in the same way as physical property.
Intellectual property laws are designed to protect different forms of intangible subject matter, although in some cases there is a degree of overlap.
As stated in the US Constitution, the Intellectual Property Clause gives Congress the authority:
"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."
So its important to note that the intent is to promote the dissemination of creative expression not to suppress it!
ABSOLUTELY FREE! MUSIC, TEXT AND ART!! COPY ALL YOU WANT!! If you saw an advertisement like this, you might wonder, "What's the catch?" When it comes to the public domain, there is no catch. If a book, song, movie or artwork is in the public domain, then it is not protected by intellectual property laws (such as copyright, trademark or patent law) --which means it's free for you to use without permission.
As a general rule, most works enter the public domain because of old age.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)  is a United States copyright law which criminalizes production and dissemination of technology that can circumvent measures taken to protect copyright, not merely infringement of copyright itself, and heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet.
The Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998—alternatively known as the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act or pejoratively as the Mickey Mouse Protection Act—extended copyright terms in the United States by 20 years. Before the act (under the Copyright Act of 1976), copyright would last for the life of the author plus 50 years, or 75 years for a work of corporate authorship; the act extended these terms to life of the author plus 70 years and 95 years respectively.
Fair use is a doctrine in United States copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders, such as use for scholarship or review. It provides for the legal, non-licensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author's work under a four-factor balancing test.
risks of over zealousness:
morality - live saving drugs for HIV, terminal seeds (Monsanto)
extremism - Amazon 1-click
creativity - human genome project, discovery vs. intention
Remix Squared - remix culture
turntable - an object of consumption transformed into an object of production.
examples, jeff koons, danger mouse grey album, smells like teen booty
Smells like teen booty.
Brokeback to the Future