10 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2016
  2. techwritingf16.robinwharton.net techwritingf16.robinwharton.net
    1. there is widespread feeling among many copyrightscholars that Congress has unabashedly ceded to the lobbying pressures of thecopyright industries and steadily cut into the heart of the public domain

      Without an estimable public domain, those looking to advance upon established ideas will have to turn to the private sector where there is a profit motive.

      When the sharing and development comes coupled with a profit motive, large portions of the population, particularly those lacking in resources, are unable to contribute to the process of intellectual development. The less people are allowed to contribute, the slower the development.

    2. (however faulty, in my view, as the constitutional provision actually emphasizesknowledge creation rather than product creation as the goal of the progress clause)

      It should be noted that the author of this essay makes no secret of their disagreement with the Supreme Court's decision. She may be offering information, consciously or unconsciously, that favor her biases.

    3. Today it is more likely that technical communicators, who have special accessto communication development that can affect vast numbers of users, readers, andviewers, are able to influence society through critical analysis and rhetorical ex-pression in choices for how they create products rather than choices in which prod-ucts they create. Technical communicators who influence product development orrhetorical treatment of communication and do so on the basis of knowledge work,even without producing legally protectable speech, may influence the democraticprocess nevertheless

      The ability to access and reference earlier work is essential for technical writers. That is why decisions like Eldred v. Ashcroft have an enormous affect on the field of technical writing and, by proxy, courses like this one.

    4. The creative choices made in enabling ease of access andpalatability to users, authored per copyright law and arguably protectable underFirst Amendment law, have allowed innovation to support democratic participa-tion by providing a means of interaction to thousands of users.

      This interpretation of the intellectual property clause is very charitable towards those looking to expand on older ideas with particular older works as a jumping off point.

    5. The most powerful of these changes is the Court’s constitutionalization of the fairuse portion of the 1976 Copyright Act, the statutory law that supports access andfree speech in copyright.

      While the decision moves in favor of the very narrow-minded definition of plagiarism and intellectual property ownership, it does at least offer a greater amount of protection for those utilizing copyrighted works for the sake of education and scholarship.

    6. There is no doubt from the perspective of access advocates that the SupremeCourt’s response inEldred v. Ashcroftnot to disavow the 20-year copyright termextension was harmful to the public domain.

      While the sharing and/or criticism of copyrighted works are still reasonably protected under fair use, the creation of derivative works and the expansion of the general pool of public knowledge has been damaged severely by the decision.

    7. As I discuss in more detail later, it is significant that the CTEA was also sup-ported as a means to “harmonize” with European law.

      From technical writing stand point, it is certainly good for international communication to have copyright legislation that can be translated and enforced across borders, however, one could argue that harmonizing with a system that limits the reach of public domain will damage communication and development in the long run, as those without the money to purchase access will have much less to work with.

    8. And a demo-cratic government is possible only if its people have a voice and are able to expressthemselves. The classic works of Alexander Meiklejohn (1948) support the princi-ple that free speech exists in the U.S. because it was necessary to make self-gov-ernment possible (Werhan, 2009, p. 310). Thus, speech is central to the democraticeffort.

      I'd always thought that the idea of free speech was in reference to opinions exclusively, but I suppose even opinions require some level of intellectual foundation. I wonder at what point an opinion ceases to be a critique begins to impede on a copyright.

    9. ideas should freely spread from one to an-other over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man

      The spreading of these ideas is the job of the Technical Writer, so it is important for them to remember why and when they are given free access to to use copyrighted ideas in a derivative fashion.

    10. The U.S. Constitution’s intellectual property clause states, “The Congress shallhave the power...toPromote the Progress of Science and the useful Arts, by secur-ing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respec-tive writings and Discoveries” (U.S. Const., art. 1, §8, cl. 8). The Framers of theConstitution created a structure in the intellectual property provision that prioritizesthe advancement of learning and knowledge creation over its secondary, supportivepurpose: to benefit the author. To provide a benefit to the author merely creates anincentive for authors to expend energy to create new work. Note that U.S. copyrightdiffers greatly from that of moral rights, which is the adopted structure in Europeanlaw, based on the concept that creators have an absolute right to benefit from theirwork and that their right comes from a special moral requirement.

      This paragraph seems to suggest that, in America, one does not hold exclusives rights to their new ideas because one has a right to ownership of one's own work. Instead, intellectual property rights are a short term reward for contributing to a much larger pool of publicly owned information.

      This clause seems to be written as a way of benefiting society as a whole, rather than the individual contributors.