An introduction to college writing that revolves around the impending Copyright crisis. Self-designed and managed to include absolutely up-to-date and relevant course readings, videos, and issues.Course Description:
The Internet has fundamentally changed the ways in which Western people access, use and distribute information. This shift has spurred arguments about the nature of intellectual property, which, in turn, reconfigure notions of the need for individual privacy and the very nature of economic production. This section of Interpretation and Argument will explore the debates surrounding cyberculture while attempting to formulate critical comprehension and approaches to the questions: Can and should the current system of copyright protection reliably and justly promote innovation without infringing on basic notions of privacy and anonymity, even on globally linked networks? How do authorship and ownership change in this climate? And, perhaps ultimately, do the technological advances of the digital age help foster a pragmatic space for progressive thinking or the most advanced, well-financed and ubiquitous example of the contradictions of contemporary society?
Besides reading scholarly and journalistic articles from no earlier than the last four years, students will have the chance to interact with the forms of media and texts that the class interrogates. In order to model possible avenues of inquiry for the final project, we will together interpret: 1) musical “mashups” which are collages of music from samples of various music sources which complicate the definition of copyright protection and question the nature of artistic “originality”; 2) a digital poem that erases itself when run on a computer that has experienced a second life in archived form on the Internet; and 3) large scale Open-Source software projects such as the Linux Operating System and Mozilla Firefox Internet browser that claim to reject intellectual ownership and proprietary rights in order to push the bar of innovation and peer-production. Students will engage these questions and objects in order to learn the techniques and strategies of academic research and argumentation culminating with staking out their own position concerning the future of the Internet and its possible need for reform.