The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America
intellectual property


DRM Chair

Submitted by syntaxfactory on March 5, 2013 - 5:36pm

What if digital intellectual property rules applied to material objects?


Copyright Comix

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 20, 2010 - 1:48pm

I've taught First Amendment/media law for many years. The law of copyright is both interesting and highly confusing, so this comic book from Duke Law is a very cool thing (free digital versions).


Plagiarism, Commonplaces, and the nonrhetorical Clinton Campaign

Submitted by Jim Brown on February 18, 2008 - 10:45pm

Senator Obama is coming under fire for lifting words from a speech made by his friend and colleague Governor Deval Patrick. As Jezebel puts it:

Barack Obama borrowed a line from some other black guy's speech borrowing a bunch of lines from famous speeches and suddenly the Hillary campaign would have you believe he is the Dane Cook of inspiring people!


J.K. Rowling Doesn't Get It

Submitted by Jim Brown on November 15, 2007 - 6:40am

John Jones points us to the latest intellectual property idiocy. J.K. Rowling is suing people who want to create the Harry Potter Lexcicon:

"In a statement, Rowling added: “It is not reasonable, or legal, for anybody, fan or otherwise, to take an author's hard work, re-organize their characters and plots, and sell them for their own commercial gain. However much an individual claims to love somebody else's work, it does not become theirs to sell.”


Fox not Freeing the Debates

Submitted by Jim Brown on October 29, 2007 - 11:52am

Fox has issued a cease and desist order to John McCain for using a clip of the presidential debates in a campaign ad.

Lawrence Lessig and others continue to call on the networks to "free" the presidential debates. That is, they have asked that the content be freed from copyright restrictions. This allows citizens to distribute and remix the content of the debates. CNN, NBC, and ABC have agreed to do this, but Fox is sticking to their guns.


Right to Privacy and Creative Commons

Submitted by Jim Brown on September 25, 2007 - 9:55pm

Kairosnews reports on the latest high-profile intellectual property case. Lessig has posted on this as well. And of course, Slashdot is in on the act. Lessig resets the case for us:


What's mine is...yours?

Submitted by Jim Brown on September 4, 2007 - 11:10pm

It doesn't take much more than a cursory scan of the day's headlines to see some more intellectual property madness. Slashdot reports that chemist Peter Murray-Rust has to pay to read his own scientific paper. The paper was published under a Creative Commons license, but this hasn't stopped Oxford University Press from charging $48.


Blogger booted from a baseball game

Submitted by Jim Brown on June 11, 2007 - 4:44pm

A blogger working for the Louisville Courier Journal was ejected from an NCAA baseball game because his blog entries were considered a "live representation of the game":

The newspaper said the university circulated a memo on the issue from Jeramy Michiaels, the NCAA's manager of broadcasting, before the first super regional game Friday. It said blogs are considered a "live representation of the game" and blogs containing action photos or game reports are prohibited until the game is over.

A very weak argument. To make this fly, you'd have to successfully argue that one could (or would want to) follow the Courier Journal's blog instead of watching or listening to the game. A blog is clearly not in competition with a radio or TV broadcast.

Also, the newspaper's executive editor is already arguing that this is "clearly a First Amendment issue." Why don't people (even newspaper editors!) understand the First Amendment?


Helprin, cont.

Submitted by Jim Brown on May 31, 2007 - 10:12am

The wiki response to Mark Helprin's NY Times piece has grown (here is my first post about it). Check out Lessig's blog for an update.