The legal and regulatory environment protecting the work of those in the IT industry has evolved from established precedents dealing with significantly less complicated practices. It is easy to state the basic principle of Intellectual Property Rights - applying it in practice is not. There are uncertainties in the application of the existing law and international pressure for change. However practical measures exist that honest practitioners can take to protect their intellectual property and to guard against misplaced allegations of infringement. For many members of the IT community the only professional property they own is intellectual. Whilst it is easy to say that unauthorised appropriation of this is theft, the practical implications are extremely complex.