What Matters Who Writes? What Matters Who Responds?

Andrea Lunsford, Rebecca Rickly, Michael Salvo, and Susan West

Following the conversation on the CNI/COPYWRITE list even for a few weeks will demonstrate, I think, how deeply entrenched the "author" construct--as owner of certain copyrightable or patentable property--is in our legal system, as well as how many daily challenges to that construct are coming from the "Net" and from the production and distribution of software and all forms of digitized information. If the stakes weren't so high, it would be downright funny to listen in as lawyers, librarians, software developers, advertisers, publishers, graphic artists, musicians, and others (even some teachers like me) fight it out over how these new means and forms of information can be (or will be?) turned into property that can be owned and protected and, most of all, kept out of the "public domain"--that is to say, how they can be kept as the private property of their "authors" or "author functions." (For instance, there is a battle between writers, producers, and directors for the locus of ownership in film, a struggle over whether parodies break copyright; there is a lawsuit over the representation of a sculptor's work in Batman Forever  without the artist's permission; and there is the "copyleft" movement and Free Berkeley Radio, etc.) These issues are, of course, beginning to impinge directly on scholarship in literature and composition.
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Postmodern (un)grounding * Collaboration * Copy(w)right/Ownership * Possible Futures

Title Page * Conclusions