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The Future is Open for Composition Studies: A New Intellectual Property Model in the Digital Age

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Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Author: Lowe, Charles
Date: 2006
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3573
Sector: Information & Knowledge
Subject(s): intellectual property rights
information technology
open access
Abstract: "'The Future Is Open' for Composition Studies: A New Intellectual Property Model in the Digital Age examines problems with the current intellectual property paradigm and focuses on the application of open source methods of knowledge production as the potential solution. Since the birth of copyright with the Statute of Anne in 1710, commercial interests have continually worked toward the enclosure of intellectual property. Despite the value to society of having a public commons of works which anyone may access and use, these companies champion romantic ideals of authorship as a means to privatize all intellectual property. This particular situation has accelerated as of late with the formation of large media conglomerates and other companies who own creative works of all types - music, scholarly articles, works of fiction, patents on new technologies and biological processes, etc. - and who vigorously protect and extend their ownership rights, including lobbying for and receiving recent legislation which solidifies their control even further: the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (1998) and Copyright Term Extension Act (1998). "As we move from a print-based culture to a society whose texts are mostly electronic, enclosure will continually cause negative effects on literacy, a stifling of technological innovation, a worsening crisis in academic publishing, a further encroachment of fair use rights, and self-censorship by creators of works. In response to such problems with intellectual property, significant grass roots movements have begun in the past twenty years centered around the idea of 'openness': open source software development, open access to scholarly publishing, and Creative Commons. Writing teachers will find that within the principles of openness these movements represent, they will recognize an ideology parallel to their own beliefs about sharing and social constructionist epistemology and come to understand that the Utopian dream of an open source idea economy is the antithesis of the dystopia imagined by content providers."

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