Authorship, Creativity, and Copyright: an undergraduate writing major course

At the 2009 meeting of the Intellectual Property Caucus of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, I mentioned that our department is designing a new 300-level course for our writing major at Grand Valley State University: Authorship, Creativity, and Copyright.

Editor's Note: Blocked Sites and Fair Use


On Friday, Linux Today posted an excerpt with a link to a story on CMP Media LLC's Information Week. Later that day, Managing Editor Brian Proffitt of Linux Today learned that Information Week was blocking inbound referrals from Linux Today.

Beyond the obvious issue of why block Linux Today, especially, as Proffitt has noted, when they are sending traffic to Information Week's site, note that this is another instance of where authors/content owners are implementing IP practices which are not in the public's interest (see The Devil Is in the Details). Also, note that Information Week is doing so seemingly on the basis of a fair use violation. The message users receive when visiting Information Week from Linux Today says, as Proffitt states,

The crux of the message on CMP's blocking page reads: "Unfortunately, we cannot satisfy this particular request because it comes from a source that is not authorized to redistribute our content..."

Proffitt says that Linux Today takes care to make only fair use of other texts when quoting from other news sources. What I want to know is does the public have a right based in fair use when a content provider makes a claim which denies fair use? Which leads to can someone sue a content owner for not providing fair use access? Fair use, after all, is in Title 17.

Don't Fence Me In

In doing some dissertation research, I found an interesting article that gives an economic perspective on the evolution of copyright and suggests some new directions for its reconception. Neil Kleinman's 1995 "Don't Fence Me In: Copyright, Property, and Technology
in Readerly/Writerly Texts 3.1 (1995) traces some history of property
in order to explain how copyright evolved as an instrument of control in the commodification of intellectual property: