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IP Literature Inside & Outside Writing Studies
IP Literature Inside & Outside Writing Studies
Although scholarship on IP issues in writing studies has been extensive, writing studies practitioners often find themselves navigating among assumptions about IP—and how to teach IP—that originated from outside of educational settings. Often, these assumptions are restrictive (and negative), as when college students using peer-to-peer networks are portrayed as copyright pirates (Logie, 2006, pp. 14–16; DeVoss & Porter, 2006, pp. 182–185). At times, writing studies practitioners hear these assumptions echoed by colleagues across campus, as when faculty treat student plagiarism as the "academic death penalty" (Howard, 1995). To counter these assumptions, which exert pressures to restrict definitions of IP and thus approaches to IP pedagogy, we extend Annemaree Lloyd's (2010) definition of information landscapes to offer a different metaphor for thinking about IP. This metaphor, as we explain below, encourages writing studies practitioners and their campus colleagues to broaden the topics taught in regard to IP, reaffirms the importance of individual identity and agency in determining what to do when faced with an IP challenge, and emphasizes the importance of having mentors offer reflections on making IP decisions.
As this special issue, which responds to a special issue of Kairos in 1998 ("Copywrite, plagiarism, and intellectual property," 1998), illustrates, scholarship on IP in writing studies has been rich and varied. Indeed, each of the four dimensions we identify and bring together here has been productively addressed before in writing studies scholarship (and beyond). The full scope of work on IP in writing studies that touches on these dimensions is too vast to review in this webtext, but we would like to highlight the special issues of journals that have explored the impact of IP on writing instruction and research: Laura Gurak and Johndan Johnson-Eilola's 1998 special issue of Computers and Composition on "Computers, Composition, and Intellectual Property;" Kairos' aforementioned 1998 special issue on Copywrite, Plagiarism, and Intellectual Property; Martine Courant Rife, Steve Westbrook, Dànielle Nicole DeVoss, and John Logie's 2010 special issue of Computers and Composition on Copyright, Culture, Creativity, and the Commons; and Krista Kennedy and Rebecca Moore Howard's 2013 special issue of College English on Western Cultures of Intellectual Property.
Despite this rich tradition of IP scholarship within writing studies, we are frequently reminded that IP in academia is situated within much broader cultural definitions of IP, definitions that are varied, evolving, and frankly not much concerned with the specific needs of academia. For example, as Jessica Reyman (2010) pointed out, the U.S. entertainment industry has influenced IP debates within Congress to focus on how IP applies to end products (the published text, the musical recording, the film) instead of how it applies to composing processes (pp. 65–66, 74–75). Several initiatives—among them, remix composing, Creative Commons licenses, and open access—have arisen in the last decade to resist the more restrictive versions of IP that entertainment and publishing industries have sought to promote. Even so, some of these academic initiatives themselves are influenced by extra-academic forces. For instance, publishers have begun to charge open access fees for journal articles that scholarly communication researchers fear may exceed subscription prices (Quinn, 2015; Rizor & Holley, 2014). Moreover, despite these initiatives to redefine IP approaches, teachers from primary to postsecondary settings face pressures to focus IP pedagogy on a narrow set of topics with a goal of imparting IP rules. These restrictive approaches are sometimes reinforced with legislative action, such as laws requiring schools that accept government funding for new technology to teach proper respect for copyright (e.g., to teach students to avoid peer-to-peer file sharing. The model for such laws was the 2006 California Legislative Assembly Bill 307; when it proved too restrictive, it was repealed in 2017.).
On college and university campuses, too, even though broader perspectives on IP issues have been researched and published, they have not necessarily been widely adopted in teaching. For instance, as we will discuss further in our results, IP issues in higher education often are equated with plagiarism problems. Yet, the writing studies scholarship on plagiarism demonstrates how complex the issues of determining authorship, reconciling voices, and making appropriate arguments can be. For example, in a 2013 chapter, Sandra Jamieson and Rebecca Moore Howard reported on The Citation Project, a national study of ways in which students from sixteen U.S. colleges and universities incorporate sources into their academic writing. Jamieson and Howard detailed a complex picture of student source use, moving beyond labeling such practices as acceptable or unacceptable per Western academic standards. Instead they identified five source-integration techniques that they found students to use—summarizing, paraphrasing, patchwriting, copying with no quotation marks, and copying with quotation marks—as well as noted from where in source texts students cited sources. Their work challenges that our understanding of student source use can be merely black and white or can follow an easy flowchart to designate it as correct or incorrect (or willfully plagiarized or not). The Citation Project reveals that a student's approach to integrating and citing sources can vary by type of source (e.g., its difficulty, its complexity), type of writing (i.e., their assignment), and other factors. That is, students' choices are situational and multidimensional.
In spite of empirical studies such as The Citation Project, in the last decade, we have seen a consistent demand for a simple solution to the problem of plagiarism, and with that demand, the increasing popularity of plagiarism detection services such as Turnitin. Though writing studies practitioners have critiqued these services, especially in terms of their handling of IP (e.g., Marsh, 2004; Purdy, 2005, 2009; Zwagerman, 2008; Vie, 2013), adoption of these services has continued to rise in secondary and postsecondary education. Indeed, some of us who have published such critiques work at institutions that subscribe to Turnitin or similar services. Despite research, plagiarism detection services thrive across the campus, including within writing programs. Part of the success of plagiarism detection services is the interpretive framework that they advertise: IP issues can be reduced to strict, easy-to-define, rules.
To counter these limited interpretations of IP, we turn to a model that acknowledges the complexity of IP issues as well as provides a metaphor for organizing their components. We follow the lead of Annemaree Lloyd (2006, 2010) in seeking to present IP as a complex landscape on which practitioners position themselves. Lloyd, from Australia, addressed members of a cognate discipline who mentor students on research projects: librarians, and more broadly, information scientists. Librarians frequently are consulted about appropriate research and citation practices, not to mention IP, especially copyright, practices. In her research, Lloyd challenged the definition of information literacy first adopted by the American Library Association in 1989 and quoted in the 2000 standards: "a set of abilities requiring individuals to 'recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information'" (ALA, 2000, "Information Literacy Defined"). According to the ALA's standards, "Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education" ("Information Literacy Defined"). Throughout her scholarship, Lloyd argued that such a definition of information literacy not only reduces complex, situated practices (especially evaluating information) to a limited skill set, but also treats that skill set as decontextualized, universal traits. Her voice was likely instrumental in the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) publishing the Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education in 2015. It offered a new definition of information literacy more in line with Lloyd's vision, particularly its organization around six threshold concepts, the first of which is "Authority Is Constructed and Contextual" (ACRL, 2015; see McClure & Purdy, 2016). We suggest that Lloyd's contention about information literacy may sound familiar to writing studies practitioners who have similarly argued that complex writing and research practices cannot be reduced to a simple skill set that applies invariably and generically across all contexts.
Opposing the ALA and prefiguring the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education, Lloyd offered a new framework for conceiving of information literacy, a framework based on sociocultural theory. In her 2006 article in the Journal of Documentation, Lloyd introduced the concept of the information landscape and expounded it further in her 2010 book, Information Literacy Landscapes: Information Literacy in Education, Workplace and Everyday Contexts. She defines information landscapes as follows:
Information landscapes are intersubjectively created spaces that have resulted from human interaction, in which information is created and shared and eventually sediments as knowledge. Consequently as an information landscape (just like a physical landscape) evolves, its social, historical, political, and economic layers are deposited to form the foundations of the intersubjective space. (2010, emphasis in original, pp. 9–10).
Lloyd began with the work of John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid (2017) to argue that information is social: people co-construct, embody, and share it within specific contexts that they inhabit and define. She particularly drew on Etienne Wenger's (1998) concept that people inhabit communities of practice, as well as upon Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger's (1991) argument that newcomers learn to recognize salient information and how to use it appropriately by engaging in a community's practices. In addition, she emphasized that such communities evolve, with practices and assumptions not only embodied by the people involved, but also entrenched within the technologies, artifacts, conventions, and narratives that they develop.
Lloyd's focus on narratives illustrates that stories are crucial for understanding the information landscape. She professed narration is a key mechanism for introducing newcomers to the hows and whys of a community of practice. As she and Kirsty Williamson (2008) explained, Lloyd conducted ethnographic studies in different settings to better understand how information literacy "requires a person to experience information in a range of different ways in order to know the setting and its practices" (p. 6). In her study of firefighters, for example, she found that more experienced firefighters furnished "opportunities for novices to access their tacit and experiential knowledge through activities such as storytelling, deconstructing past events as a way of explaining mistakes, and narration of the tacit aspects of professional practice" (p. 6). In other words, novice firefighters could not be information literate in this setting—could not evaluate risks to themselves from a fire, for example—without embodied and articulated experiences to guide them. In an earlier study, Julian Orr (1996) similarly argued that technicians who repaired Xerox machines likewise shared stories to co-construct knowledge about the machines and to make their tacit, experienced knowledge about them more explicit. We argue that academics likewise inhabit information landscapes and that novices are best made aware of how to position themselves on these landscapes through stories from colleagues, mentors, or more experienced practitioners. For academics, these information landscapes are imbued with IP issues. Like the firefighters in Lloyd's study and the Xerox technicians in Orr's study, academics—and especially newcomers to academia—cannot fully comprehend and navigate IP if the issues are presented as decontextualized, generic, and narrowly-focused rules. Rather, they would do better to keep the whole IP landscape in mind.
Our study, therefore, focuses on the narratives that writing practitioners tell about their experiences with IP. In analyzing these experiences, we have chosen to modify Lloyd's approach somewhat. What she calls layers of the information landscape (its "social, historical, political, and economic" components [pp. 9–10]), we call dimensions. We use this different language because our study's perspective differs from Lloyd's: rather than delving into a single situation, we survey and interview writing studies practitioners from a range of contexts. Our participants do share some characteristics, of course, as writing studies practitioners affected by IP issues, but we have taken snapshots of their experiences. We encourage readers to consider them as experienced narrators whose reflections outline the contours, the broad dimensions, of the IP information landscape that readers/users may also inhabit. Our participants identify different aspects of the landscape that readers/users can pay more attention to as they decide where to position themselves within their own specific IP situations. Our participants do not simply provide rules, but model how to think through IP dilemmas while balancing the (sometimes competing) values they embody and articulate.
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This webtext draws on data from a multifaceted IRB-approved study that includes recorded, semi-structured interviews conducted in spring and summer 2015 with twenty-eight writing studies professionals of varying ranks at various U.S. colleges and universities as well as, to a lesser extent, a nationwide, anonymous questionnaire with 393 responses from practitioners who identify with the field of writing studies. Our overall research question was, What trends emerge when teachers, researchers, and editors in writing studies are asked to relate their knowledge of and experiences with IP issues? We offered a questionnaire because we wanted people to be able to be honest in sharing their stories and beliefs. Responses to the questionnaire helped us determine the questions and areas of focus for the interviews, and, while we primarily report on the interviews in this webtext, we reference some of the questionnaire responses to reinforce the broader trends interview participants' videos reveal. (We discuss the questionnaire responses at greater length in our book project, The Effects of Intellectual Property Law in Writing Studies.) Our full set of interview questions is available in Appendix B.
We followed up our questionnaire with interviews to balance the broader range of responses from the survey with more in-depth responses from interviews—as well as to balance the anonymous responses of the questionnaire with identifiable reflections and advice from known writing studies practitioners. These seventeen interviews are part of a larger corpus of twenty-eight. We did not have space to provide over 14 hours of interview footage or over 200 pages of transcripts in a single webtext, so we chose particular sections to present. We focused on the most telling reflections, the most explicit commentary, and issues that came up over and over in the interviews. Our interview population included but was not limited to writing studies professionals who research and publish about IP. Indeed, we intentionally sought out a broader population, though, perhaps not surprisingly, many of the folks who accepted our invitations to interview included scholars who study IP. For earlier interviews with some of these scholars, including Karen, regarding their work with the Conference on College Composition and Communication Intellectual Property Caucus, see Amidon (2012). What we offer in this webtext is a broad look into practitioners' approaches to IP, an overview of the landscape; we do not drill down into one specific context (e.g., practicing technical writers, contingent faculty members). Rather, our goal is to acquaint writing studies practitioners with the range of options we saw members of the discipline to use.
Interview participants were recruited through professional email lists (e.g., TechRhet, WPA-L) and targeted social media (e.g., Facebook). Participants included writing studies scholars and journal editors identified through snowballing methods. The 45–90 minute, semi-structured interviews were conducted via Skype, telephone, or in-person; recorded via video and audio methods (e.g., Camtasia screen capture software); and subsequently transcribed. Participants reviewed the transcripts, and they consented to the use of their real names and the recordings. In two cases, only audio was recorded.
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A theme we found in our interviews is discussion of citation, especially plagiarism, in response to questions about IP, particularly questions involving teaching undergraduates. When we asked interview participants how they (would) teach IP issues at different levels (first-year students, upper-level undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty peers), they often responded in terms of how they teach students to cite sources and avoid plagiarism. Notably, we did not explicitly ask participants to talk about citation. Yet participants commonly—in fact, almost unanimously—referenced citation and plagiarism in their responses. Donna Kain captured this finding: "At any level I talk about plagiarism, obviously—we all do." (See Appendix A for participants' position(s) and institutional affiliations at the time of their interviews in 2015. Note that all interview transcripts have been edited for clarity and consistency.)
Indeed, we found that a prevalent lens participants used for making decisions about IP is teaching students citation and source use practices to avoid plagiarizing. For instance, when asked what IP issues he addresses in his textbooks, Mike Palmquist began a long, eloquent, nuanced response, "I've got, in just about all of them, a full chapter on plagiarism and the usual stuff like that." As Palmquist represented it, approaching IP from the perspective of plagiarism avoidance is the "usual" tack to take. Kain elaborated on how she teaches students to avoid plagiarism: "I have a very strict plagiarism policy and I check. Again, because it is easy to make mistakes [...] I want to make sure that people understand how to do things right." For Kain, part of preparing students to deal with IP is instructing and enforcing clear policies regarding plagiarism. It is also designing assignments that preclude plagiarism: "I think we have to work on doing assignments where the stakes are such that, it doesn't benefit students to do that kind of stuff—to toss it off as, 'Hey, it's just a class assignment; it doesn't matter.' So, I think how we construct assignments is really important, too." From this perspective, if the goal is to instruct students in how to avoid plagiarizing, teachers must create assignments that do not invite plagiarism. Anne Ruggles Gere in speaking in her role as graduate program director, recounted a similar approach in graduate student training. She shared that, in her program's eight "experiences" designed to prepare graduate students to "be ethical professionals," the "first session" was about plagiarism.
That participants framed the issue of plagiarism as a "usual" part of IP instruction (Palmquist) that "we all do" (Kain) and where we go "first" (Gere) gave us pause. Certainly, it makes sense that we, as writing studies practitioners, would approach IP from the perspective of writing practice. In fact, Kairos' 1998 special issue on Copywrite, Plagiarism, and Intellectual Property includes plagiarism as an IP issue. Its section on "Intellectual Property: Questions and Answers" with Johndan Johnson-Eilola, explicitly asks about plagiarism's relationship with fair use and copyright. Yet our study participants' sense of this connection as inevitable—and the regularity with which participants made this connection—surprised us, perhaps partly because it made us aware of our own unconscious reliance on this coupling. Jim Purdy, for instance, has published on the potential problems of plagiarism detection technologies (2005, 2009), and this work is what led him to be part of the IP Caucus in the first place. Thus, we do not wish to suggest that writing teachers should not instruct students in how to avoid plagiarizing. However, we do wish to suggest that thinking of IP instruction only in those terms is unduly limiting.
To be sure, some participants did not limit themselves in this way, explicitly explaining how they move source use instruction beyond discussions of plagiarism. For example, Tim Amidon shared:
I think in the first year composition classroom it's just important to start having conversations about textual appropriation. How do you do citation? What does that really mean? It isn't simply just saying, "I didn't plagiarize." That isn't really what gets me up in the morning so-to-speak. [...] I'm not up here so I can go "You shall not steal from others!" You're going to appropriate ... I have to acknowledge that. And I also want to acknowledge that there's other people that have done things that they've worked really hard on, and I want to do the right thing and say, "Hey! I see that you did something that was pretty meaningful. And I want to give you credit for how that's influenced and impacted me." And I think those are the conversations that really…I think those resonate with students in first-year writing classes because it's not about "gotcha." And those listening that are familiar with intellectual property studies will know exactly what I'm talking about when I say that. It's less about "gotcha" and more about how do I become an ethical composer? How do I integrate a conversation that has existed prior to my use of this conversation in a way that's ethical and appropriate for the type of writing and rhetorical situation I'm entering?
Here Amidon offers questions that guide his approach to teaching first-year writing students about citation in ways that seek to move beyond catching students for citation mistakes or focusing on teaching students how to avoid being caught for plagiarizing. Rather, he situates his approach as helping each student learn how to "become an ethical composer." Michele Eodice, director of the writing center and associate provost for academic engagement at the University of Oklahoma, extended this lens to instruction in the writing center. In discussing training writing center consultants, she noted her approach to be "not demonizing plagiarism so much…kind of taking it out. It's been so many years, Jim, since this has even been an issue. I really think young people have a better handle on this than old people. They're not like, 'Oh! It's my job to be the plagiarism police.'" Like Amidon and several other participants, she valued source use instruction over plagiarism punishment.
As a way to expand IP instruction beyond teaching only plagiarism avoidance, a few study participants explicitly referenced distinguishing between copyright and plagiarism. For instance, Jeff Galin explained:
Often, when I'm introducing plagiarism, I'll talk about the difference between copyright concerns and plagiarism, and how plagiarism is much more…a much lower standard, if you will, than a copyright violation, and how important it becomes for ethical reasons. But, in the end, plagiarism is not so much an IP issue as it is an ethical issue.
Galin's sense that plagiarism is more an ethical issue rather than an IP issue may suggest why so many participants mentioned it: given its ethical resonance and visibility, plagiarism is a writing practice at the forefront of our minds as writing teachers. In identifying this finding of participants associating plagiarism with IP, then, we do not mean that participants necessary confused or conflated plagiarism with copyright violation.
Indeed, like Galin, some participants were motivated to clarify this distinction for students. For instance, John Logie explicitly expressed concern about this conflation of plagiarism and copyright violation. He called for a clearer, more nuanced definition of plagiarism: "I think our whole field needs to do a better job at untangling distinctions between plagiarism and appropriation&emdash;plagiarism and, in many cases, unauthorized appropriation for effect." Damián Baca shared Logie's concern, lamenting that his own teaching of IP is too overly focused on citation practices. He confessed, "I'm disappointed in my own pedagogy. [...] I'd like to do a better job [... moving] beyond the concern of making sure that students are submitting their own work."
Several study participants provided alternatives to moving beyond this concern. Cruz Medina for instance, was one of only a few interviewees who did not explicitly use the words plagiarism or plagiarize in his interview. Instead, he discussed source use questions as arising from questions of textual distribution and genre/media convention. For example, he noted teaching IP issues in the context of students asking why their videos were taken down from YouTube and explaining attribution practices in digital media as connected with form, for instance, the use of credits at the end of a video to provide citation information. Michael Pemberton echoed the importance of this attention to delivery in teaching IP.
In this webtext, then, we theorize IP as an information landscape to offer ways writing studies practitioners can move beyond the concern of whether students plagiarized—in particular, by putting into conversation the four landscape dimensions we identify: IP Law, Legal Issues, and Stories about Them; Relationships between Economic Systems and IP; The Evolution of IP: The Past and Future; and Personal Identity: The PI of IP. We turn next to fuller explanations of these dimensions. For each, we offer our argument regarding that dimension, a video of study participants' insights and ideas regarding that dimension, pedagogical approaches that arise from the video, and further resources that readers/users might consult to continue conversations about that dimension with students and/or colleagues.
This study arises from over a decade of experience with the Intellectual Property Caucus of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (IP Caucus), a group dedicated to discussing intellectual property (IP) issues that affect practitioners in writing studies and to pursuing initiatives to address IP concerns, such as formulating a policy statement in response to the use of plagiarism technologies and advising colleagues about options for open access publishing. For our purposes in this webtext, IP refers to human creations that can be owned and protected under copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and proprietary knowledge, although we focus on copyright. In addition, the term practitioners encompasses the many roles impacted by IP that writing studies professionals fill (e.g., writers, teachers, mentors, researchers, editors, continuing students). Typically, when practitioners approach us, as former chairs of the IP Caucus, about IP pedagogy, we are asked to provide a simple answer—the single website resource, the handout, the lecture—that tells undergraduates, graduate students, and/or faculty all they need to know about IP. However, our research suggests that answers are rarely that simple. Although productive resources providing guidance have been created (including in this special issue; see also Crews, 2012), these guides provide a limited perspective on how specific IP decisions are reached. In other words, "how to" advice alone tends to obfuscate the situated nature of IP decisions. More worrisome, if used without reflection, as were the Conference on Fair Use's Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia (Lehman, 1998)—which gave us the "rule" that we can reproduce up to 10% of a text without additional copyright permissions—guides can become powerful myths so internalized that their origins are widely forgotten, even when they later prove untenable (see Rife, 2006). To counter the potential for this casual and normalized short-circuiting of academic work, writing studies practitioners also need resources that analyze how to cultivate informed stances towards IP. In this webtext, we argue that when individuals decide how to apply "the rules" of IP to their own situations, they must deliberately position themselves among an array of factors—historical, economical, ethical—that contextualize IP.
Unfortunately, apart from brief anecdotes about facing IP challenges (e.g., Westbrook, 2006; 2009), little systematic documentation exists regarding how writing studies practitioners identify which contextual factors they consider in determining their positions—and thus how they make informed decisions about, as well as teach, IP. To remedy this lack, this webtext presents video or audio excerpts from recorded interviews with seventeen writing studies practitioners that both provide insight into the factors that they focus on in their decisions (which we categorize into four dimensions) and provide examples of the different, considered approaches to IP that they adopt. (See Appendix A for the titles and institutional affiliations of the interview participants at the time of their interviews in 2015.) We selected these excerpts from a larger corpus of twenty-eight interviews to focus on the most telling reflections, the most explicit commentary, and the issues that came up over and over among participants. In our own written commentary, we contextualize and analyze these interview excerpts. The videos privilege the voices of the participants themselves as they offer their reflections on IP. These reflections and analysis can help readers consider approaches to teaching ownership, authorship, and copyright in writing instruction. Based on these interviews, this webtext argues that all of us as writing studies practitioners need to rethink the way we teach IP, along the same lines that we have rethought source use/citation (e.g., Jamieson & Howard, 2013) and information literacy (e.g., Lloyd, 2006; 2010)—not as universal writing or information skills or rules, but as information landscapes with multiple dimensions.
This webtext, then, does not illustrate one true answer to an IP question, but sketches and analyzes the processes by which writing studies practitioners develop and teach informed, multivalent positions on IP. Our goal is not to present particular approaches to IP as right or wrong but to acquaint writing studies practitioners with options available—as well as to suggest that responding to the complexity of IP should entail recognizing a need for flexible stances that consider the multiple identities and situations writing studies practitioners inhabit. This is not to say, however, that we mean that any response to IP decisions is appropriate (e.g., we do not advocate a lack of awareness of university IP policies or ignorance of fair use guidelines or total disregard of copyright law). It is to say that in this webtext we present a range of responses appropriate to different contexts and identities. Readers/users must decide which are most appropriate for them in a given moment and situation.
In arguing for the stance that IP issues cannot be reduced to a set of rules, but must be considered within an information landscape, we also argue that the range of topics mapped onto that landscape—and thus taught to students and mentees—must be expanded. A significant finding of our study is that writing studies practitioners tend to privilege teaching citation styles and authorship attribution when they think of teaching IP. However, we argue that plagiarism avoidance need not be the "go to" move in writing courses, to the exclusion of other IP topics. Indeed, other writing scholars (e.g., (In)Citers, 1998; Neely, 2010; Rife, 2007; Walker, 1998), including some of our study participants, have argued that approaches to citation instruction themselves should be reconceived on the basis of their IP research. We further add that IP instruction need not be mainly (or only) about citation rules, but also about enculturation in an information-based environment saturated with a long history of IP legislation and academic challenges to the legal status quo. Our study's respondents provide examples of productive approaches to discussing these options, and we share some of those here. In other words, through sharing and analyzing the reflections of writing studies practitioners, we offer here other aspects of IP that map a more robust IP landscape. These reflections include advice, commentary, stories, prognostications, and "what if"s.
In this webtext, we discuss four dimensions of IP that respondents identified as critical to their understandings of IP. We then propose that these dimensions are crucial for considering a fuller pedagogical approach to IP. The dimensions include:
- 1. IP Law, Legal Issues, and Stories about Them
- 2. Relationships between Economic Systems and IP
- 3. The Evolution of IP: The Past and Future
- 4. Personal Identity: The PI of IP
These dimensions are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, we suggest that writing studies practitioners (in their various roles as teachers, mentors, scholars, editors, and so forth) often tacitly put these dimensions into conversation with one another, although different individuals emphasize different dimensions and pay varying amounts of attention to them. We argue that to more effectively teach students and colleagues to address IP issues, writing practitioners should make these dimensions more explicit and model how they position themselves in regard to IP. Therefore, in this webtext, for each of the four dimensions we identify, we provide interview excerpts that illustrate how academics think through the complexities of IP and where they position themselves, and we identify resources to serve as starting points for similar complex conversations.