167. Successful sports professionals can earn a great deal more money than people in other important professions. Some people think this is fully justified while others think it is unfair. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
As a result of constant media attention, sports professionals in my country have become stars and celebrities, and those at the top are paid huge salaries. Just like movie stars, they live extravagant lifestyles with huge houses and cars.
Many people find their rewards unfair, especially when comparing these super salaries with those of top surgeons or research scientists, or even leading politicians who have the responsibility of governing the country. However, sports salaries are not determined by considering the contribution to society a person makes, or the level of responsibility he or she holds. Instead, they reflect the public popularity of sport in general and the level of public support that successful stars can generate. So the notion of ‘fairness’ is not the issue.
Those who feel that sports stars’ salaries are justified might argue that the number of professionals with real talent are very few, and the money is a recognition of the skills and dedication a person needs to be successful. Competition is constant and a player is tested every time they perform in their relatively short career. The pressure from the media is intense and there is little privacy out of the spotlight. So all of these factors may justify the huge earnings.
Personally, I think that the amount of money such sports stars make is more justified than the huge earnings of movie stars, but at the same time, it indicates that our society places more value on sport than on more essential professions and achievements.
168. It is generally agreed that society benefits from the work of its members. Compare the contributions of artists to society with the contributions of scientists to society. Which type of contribution do you think is valued more by your society? Give specific reasons to support your answer.
From my everyday experience and observation I think that artists as well as scientists bring many benefits to society. It is a controversial question weather the contributions of artists are more or less then the contributions of scientists to the society. For several reasons, which I will mention bellow, I think that both types are valuable, priceless and irreplaceable for every society.
The contributions of artists to the society are very essential. Art can form person’s spiritual sense, their views and personalities. People learn history, the traditions of their country trough the art. We also watch movies that entertain and at the same time extend our range of interests. Another important aspect of this is that art is an ancient means of communication. In old times people depicted the herds of mammoths on the walls of their caves. They performed different rituals around the fireplace asking their gods for health, good harvest and weather. Our language is a result of people's need to communicate.
From the other side, the contribution of scientists is could not be exaggerated. All humankind is indebted to the scientists because of their work and achievements. Scientists make our life easier. We have cars and airplanes to move fast from one place to another. We have microwaves and a bunch of preprocessed food to make the cooking much easier. We have different devices that simplify all we do. Finally, scientists are making great achievements in medicine that make our life longer and happier. Nowadays people have a great opportunity to do many things faster by use of computers.
To sup up, I believe that artists nourish our souls when scientists and technology feed our minds. So, we can not eliminate or underestimate one of them.
169. People who have original ideas are of much greater value to society than those who are simply able to copy the ideas of others well. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
I certainly agree that people who come up with new ideas; in other words those who 'invent' or 'discover' things are terribly important to society as a whole. However, I also think there is a role in society for good imitators.
No one would deny that key individuals must be thanked for providing us with certain facilities that we use every day. Where, would we be, for example, without basic items such as the washing machine, the television and, more recently, the computer? These items are now used so regularly that we tend to take them for granted.
In fact, the society we live in today has become increasingly consumer-oriented, and while it may be possible to constantly update and improve consumer goods, not everyone where I live can afford the prices of these innovations. Furthermore not everyone lives in an area that has accessibility to the latest models on the market. For this reason, there is a value to be placed on being able to provide good copies of expensive items.
Having said that, certain innovations have a more serious impact on our lives than consumer goods and cannot easily be replicated. Vital medicines like penicillin and vaccines against dangerous diseases also exist because people made continual efforts to develop them. Scientific ideas such as these enable us to live longer and escape illness.
What is Intellectual Property
Consideration of the meaning of the word property. The outstanding features that most types of property share are that the owner of the property is free to use it as she/he wishes, provided the use is not against the law, and to exclude others from so using that owned item of property.
The term intellectual property in the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization , or "WIPO", does not have a more formal definition. The States that drafted the Convention chose to offer an inclusive list of the rights as relating to:
“Literary artistic and scientific works; performances of performing artists, phonograms, and broadcasts; inventions in all fields of human endeavor; scientific discoveries; industrial designs; trademarks, service marks, and commercial names and designations; protection against unfair competition; and "all other rights resulting from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary or artistic fields.”
(Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, Signed at Stockholm on July 14, 1967; Article 2, § viii)
For various administrative and historical reasons, intellectual property is usually dealt with under the following main headings:
Literary, artistic and scientific works e.g. books. Protection of this property is governed by laws* concerning Copyright.
Performances, broadcasts e.g. concerts. Protection of this property is governed by laws concerning Copyright's Related Rights.
Inventions e.g. a new form of jet engine. Protection of inventions is covered by laws concerning Patents.
Industrial designs e.g. the shape of a soft drinks bottle. Industrial Designs may be protected by its own specialized laws, or those of Industrial Property or Copyright.
Trademarks, service marks and commercial names and designations e.g. logos or names for a product with unique geographical origin, such as Champagne. Protection is normally available under various laws. In this course the laws are covered within the Trademark module.
Protection against unfair competition. e.g. false claims against a competitor or imitating a competitor with a view to deceive the customer. This is a theme that occurs in many of the modules in this course and is in fact the subject of a separate module.
* The term "laws" includes national laws and international agreements: treaties, conventions and similar intergovernmental instruments. Treaties themselves may receive different treatment within various nations' governments.