Copyright, Plagiarism, and Intellectual Property

CoverWeb Contributions: Abstracts | IP Bibliographies
Intellectual Property Q&A | Interactive Forum

As recent threads on the discussion list of the Alliance for Computers and Writing (ACW-L) attest, concerns about knowledge production and ownership are topics of great interest to writing teachers, particularly at the loci where online communication and traditional print-economy values come together. Discussion has ranged from student publishing, copyright, and privacy concerns to questions of who owns online courses. (For a glimpse at the impetus for one of these discussions, visit RhetNet's archive of the ACW-L discussion on "Copyright and Student Privacy Online".)

The notion of intellectual property covers a lot of ground, encompassing the idea of copyright, the ethics of plagiarism, and production/ownership of texts in an information economy:

This CoverWeb, too, considers a broad range of issues related to Intellectual Property. Diane Boehm considers the question of plagiarism in online courses; TyAnna Herrington offers some specific details about the legal issues as they have been thus far articulated for online environments. Jeffrey Galin and Joan Latchaw propose a change in the nature of ownership of disciplinary knowledge and posit a change in traditional dissemination venues; David Porush considers questions of plagiarism and fair use. "The Citation Functions: Literary Production and Reception" is the response to a call for hypertexts from the consitituents of the IP caucus of CCCC and is composed of a series of positions statements related to issues of intellectual property.

In addition to the full hypertext nodes listed above, this CoverWeb also features invited commentary and editorials. Matthew Kirschenbaum offers a discussion of "Intellectual Property Online:The Case of Student Writing," prompted by his experience publishing student work in Kairos's Classroom Spotlight (issue 2.2). Editorial Board memeber Johndan Johnson-Eilola offers his responses to a series of questions about intellectual property in Intellectual Proerty: Q & A. Finally, Kairos Editor Mick Doherty offers the first CoverWeb Editorial, "It's the Interface, Stupid: The Kairos of Copyright and the Copyright of Kairos."

IP Q & A

Laura Gurak and Johndan Johnson-Eilola are guest editors for a Computers & Composition Special Issue on Computers, Composition, and Intellectual Property (Issue 15.2, August 1998) which will focus on three main themes: Legal and Conceptual Issues in IP, IP in the Classroom, and Plagiarism and IP. Since many of the same issues will be addressed in both this CoverWeb and the forthcoming Computers and Composition, Kairos asked Johndan to consider a series of questions about intellectual property issues:
Intellectual Property Q&A

Copyright, Plagiarism, Intellectual Property -- Resources

Because the issues and questions raised by this CoverWeb are so complex, and misinformation all too commonplace, the following bibliographies are being reprinted here with the kind permission of the authors:
Access Rebecca Howard's Bibliography of Print Sources
Access Jeffrey R. Galin's  Bibliography of Online Sources
Additionally, several of the book reviews from this issue of Kairos also foreground Intellectual Property issues.

CoverWeb Contributions: Abstracts

About Plagiarism, Pixels and Platitudes
by Diane Christian Boehm, with Laura Tagget
"Most faculty today have heard about SchoolSucks and the lawsuit which Boston University filed against online term paper purchase sites. Many educators, however, have not thought about the implications of such sites for their own teaching. Certainly intellectual integrity is a far more challenging puzzle in the digital era than it has ever been. 'About Plagiarism, Pixels and Platitudes' explores classroom issues regarding intellectual integrity in the larger context of the climate which has created them; recommends strategies teachers can use in their individual classrooms; and invites further conversation about both."

The Unseen "Other" of Intellectual Property Law
by TyAnna K. Herrington
"Misperceptions and inaccuracies regarding intellectual property law are both extreme and ubiquitous in this age of digital communication, when ease of access, copy, and dissemination of copyrighted materials has created a backlash of fear against public access to information. This fear has, unfortunately, led to general inattention to the policy goals behind the constitutional provision that forms the basis for our current U.S. intellectual property law. . . .The following material provides an overview of the basic tenets that drive intellectual property law. I focus, in particular, on copyright law because most of the work produced for educational and personal use is governed by this area of the law."

Heterotopic Spaces Online
by Jeffrey R. Galin and Joan Latchaw
"Using Foucault's metaphor of heterotopic spaces ("living spaces" as opposed to utopian spaces), we theorize heterotopic spaces online. We examine five current models of archiving disciplinary knowledge and then suggest four concurrent transition models for print and academic institutions going online. Drawing from these models, we conclude by exploring how the community of Computers and Writing might follow the lead of physics and related fields toward a fully automated, self-publishing, raw archive model of storing all new knowledge in our field. . . .We seek to accelerate the conversation on digital storage of new knowledge by offering a new vision of academic publishing."

by David Porush
"This hypertext is designed to elucidate the battle between two ideals, one predominant and expressed in copyright and intellectual property laws, the other a suppressed, exilic, nomadic, diasporic, quasi-non-Western, talmudic alternative, which is symbolized herein as '©ontra.'"

The Citation Functions: Literary Production and Reception
by The (In)Citers.
"Because each of us was pursuing the trail of the author through materials related to our own research interests, our findings regarding citation amount to an eclectic set of observations. Yet reading through that eclectic set, one must conclude that citation and documentation serve purposes that extend far beyond the niceties of acknowledgment described in writers’ handbooks."

For more information, contact
Douglas Eyman
Kairos CoverWeb Editor