Figure I20

Cornell University nanoguitars. (a) 1997 version; (b) 2003 version.

probably not the creation of "music" that would be protectable by copyright law, it does represent the very early stages of investigations of the acoustic properties of nanoscale devices. As this research continues, sequences of sound may well be produced that are meaningful and subject to the full protection that copyright law provides.

Copyright law developed mostly to provide a form of protection for the intellectual property embodied in creative works. This is one reason why some level of creativity remains a requirement to obtain copyright protection. This chapter has explored some of the ways in which nanotechnol-ogy research embraces the creative aspects that copyright law covers. In many ways, the examples that have been discussed remain as curiosities— the Osaka bull and the Cornell guitars are fascinating because they are so unusual. But there are many other nanotech structures that are now routinely being created that have creative aspects. They may not be as visually dramatic as the Osaka bull or the Cornell guitars, but in some ways many of them may provide even more important contributions to the way we view the world. It is copyright law that permits these creative endeavors to be protected. As Lawrence Lessig has acutely observed, "Of all the creative work produced by humans anywhere, a tiny fraction has continuing commercial value. For that tiny fraction, the copyright is a crucially important legal device."

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