Monday, September 28, 2009

Presentation

Presentation

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Theories of Authorship

An important part of developing new ideas is the the collaboration of peers.

Large groups of collaborative authors may disintegrate the need for a single author.

The creation and the collaboration of creative works on community forums invents a sort of "protected" writer's commons, which can be shared with outsiders or other communities.

The collaboration of a piece of writing, when published, does not always "share" the wealth of the piece.

Collaborative writing takes the form of sharing ideas, giving feedback, or writing a part of the final piece. What levels of collaborations deserve a sort of "shared authorship?" What would sharing the role of author mean for the idea behind the single author? Would it aid in the idea of the disintegrating author?

If idea's are willingly shared, what does that do to single authorship? What level of sharing takes away the role of the single author as being the "inventor" or "initiator" of something new an creative?

What does this say about creativity itself? Does creativity develop within a single person or is the core of creativity something that develops in many but put together by a few?

If creativity is not something that develops in just a single mind, how can it ever be owned? Would creativity itself be the commons? Does everything ever thought about as "Creative" naturally fall under the concepts of the "Creative Commons Copyright?"

Is creativity like open source? (Like Linux.)

How does this define inventiveness? Can there exist patents on new ideas that have been seeded by creativity? Do the results from creative collaboration become owned? Are they technically the remix of the original creative thoughts?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Proposal Word Cloud

Wordle: Collaborative Authorship Word Cloud

Monday, September 14, 2009

Final Proposal

"Just as with the early broadsheets, many blogs are published anonymously, or more specifically, pseudonymously. Blogging pseudonyms are generally not fleeting aliases but fixed public identities, which are strongly associated with a particular author’s style and ethos. The impressive proliferation of blogging as a form of writing has disseminated the category of “author” to an unprecedented level of true mass-culture participation, though the prevalence of pseudonymity in blogging suggests that “authorship” may be at once more influential and more disposable than ever before."

-- Anonymity, Authorship, and Blogger Ethics; By Amardeep Singh


The quote above taken from Anonymity, Authorship, and Blogger Ethics, by Amardeep Singh, sets the basic scope for this proposal. Blogs create an interesting atmosphere of sharing ideas, memories, events, and comments on the news. Since, the ideas of many are so often posted to readably accessible sites--where coincidental likeness between Blog enties/ideas and the unintentional and intentional borrowing of ideas from the environment, make it even hard to pin down author. Of course each blog entry is tagged by the author/poster of the blog, but because of the community atmosphere blogs create coupled with thousands of people reporting simular events and life stories--how is the author pinned down? Is there even the need of author when so much is borrowed or a like? Or is each blog entry, even with all it's likenesses to others and outside-the-blog sources, a personaly authored remix of events? How many remixes of the same idea can there be before it is no longer a reminx and instead a paraphrase of thousands of words writing in the past?


Reletive to the ideas of authorship on blogging sites, what of other writing forums. There a millions of hits on www.google.com when one searches for "Online Writing Forum." Some of these includes sites like www.webook.com, www.lulu.com, and www.writing.com. All of these sites, in their Terms and Conditions, give the author/user of their forum full copyright and legal right of the work that they have posted for as long as it is posted on their site. But, how does this stop the borrowing of ideas for the users who read and give feedback to different people's work--especially when there are so many sites and so many places another author could hide stolen ideas from another. With or without copyrights or legal rights. How do we define author on sites that are so public with ideas that anyone can come by as they surf the web? What about collaborative creative writing sites like www.webook.com where the point of the site is to help give and take ideas from the community--do those ideas belong to the whole, or to the individual who first posted it, or to the individual who actually makes it into a story.


Authorship was created a few hundred years ago. According to Rafael Heller, "...the origins of our contemporary ideas about intellectual property date back roughly three hundred years, to a series of lawsuits amount rival publishing houses…. The most immediate goal, for the plaintiffs, was to prevent their competitors from producing cheap reprints of their bestsellers.” (Questionable Categories and the Case or Collaborative Writing). Heller defines the time period when single person authorship was defined, but not necessarily collaboritive authorship, web authorship. But, Rafael Heller continues to say that the debates that follow dealing with concepts of copyright, sampling, and plagiarism are also traced back to legal battles that help challenge the ideas of “intellectual property.” Maybe, another set of debates are needed to help define the "Commons" and the idea behind "Remixing."


Bibliography

Amardeep Singh. "Anonymity, Authorship, and Blogger Ethics." symploke 16.1-2 (2009): 21-35. Project MUSE. West Virginia University Libraries, Morgantown, WV. 2 Aug. 2009 .

Heller, Rafael. "Questionable Categories and the Case for Collaborative Writing." Rhetoric Review 22.2 (2003): 300-17. JSTOR. Web. 14 Sept. 2009.

"Published Books, Poetry - How To Get Published - WEbook." Book Publishing Companies - Publishing Books - WEbook Online Company. Web. 14 Sept. 2009. .

"Writing.Com: User / Membership Agreement." Writing.Com: Writers, Writing, Poetry, Creative Writing, Fiction Writing, Poetry Contests, Writing Contests. Web. 14 Sept. 2009.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Draft Research Proposal

For the most part, the proposed project is mostly interested in the ideas surrounding collaborative authorship on the web. For example, websites that are use as creative writing forums or blogs that are written/edited by more then one person. These websites allow for the role of author to be claimed by many people in a context where the role of author is still somewhat undefined.


I have found that a lot of Online writing sites will give the user full legal ownership over the ideas that they post. On websites like WEbook.com, the author has a copyright for the material that they post on the site by webook for as long as the material resides on the site.

(this paragraph is wrong look above)
Online writing sites do not always offer protection to people who post their ideas, meaning that web users that have access to that person’s writing can take it as their own and repost it on another site without fear of breaking any sort of copyright. Also, since most sites let people post their writing under a pen name—a sort of second identity for some websites—it can be hard to connect people back to their original work when there are multiple people with similar pen names on multiple sites all claiming to have authorship over a piece of work.

When these online writing sites allow for multiple people to contribute to one work, the ownership of the ideas or writing in the project become even more loosely defined. The leader of the project on the site tends to hold the most “ownership,” but again, there is little protection for the project leader and nearly no protection for the project contributors.

Blogs have nearly the same problem. Although, technically the writer of the blog (or post on a writing forum) owns the things that they write, the blog site itself offers little protection for their users, meaning there is no action taken when the blogger's work is copied and reproduced elsewhere. (At most, the penalty for copying thoughts on blogs is for the user who copied the thoughts to be "kicked off" the site. But there is no legal action which is taken)

"Just as with the early broadsheets, many blogs are published anonymously, or more specifically, pseudonymously. Blogging pseudonyms are generally not fleeting aliases but fixed public identities, which are strongly associated with a particular author’s style and ethos. The impressive proliferation of blogging as a form of writing has disseminated the category of “author” to an unprecedented level of true mass-culture participation,1 though the prevalence of pseudonymity in blogging suggests that “authorship” may be at once more influential and more disposable than ever before."

-- Anonymity, Authorship, and Blogger Ethics; By Amardeep Singh

So, authorship is defined in blogs according to Amardeep Singh in their article “Anonymity, Authorship, and Blogger Ethics.” The author of this article says that however influential blogging may be to the readers of the blogs, they might as well no be authors/owners to the thoughts within the blog. Do these blog become a part of the commons?

“…the origins of our contemporary ideas about intellectual property date back roughly three hundred years, to a series of lawsuits amount rival publishing houses…. The most immediate goal, for the plaintiffs, was to preent their competitors from producing cheap reprints of their bestsellers.”
-- Questionable Categories and the Case or Collaborative Writing; By Rafael Heller

These court cases helped design what is now called “Author.” But these only defined the meaning of single author. But, Rafael Heller continues to say that the debates that follows concepts of copyright, sampling, and plagiarism are also traced back to legal battles that help challenge the ideas of “intellectual property.”

“Specifically, compositionist have credited the historians with helping also to expose cultural and institutional prejudices against people who choose to write, read, and publish together, sharing the production and/or responsibility for texts. These prejudices appear to have powerful influences over no only the ways in which we teach writing but also the way in which we write about our teaching.” -- Rafael Heller

This kind of makes questions about collaborative writing while there is so much of sharing ideas on \line, in class paper “workshops,” how do we then define plagiarism when there is so much sharing of ideas and it is hard to trace the idea back to it's orgins?

References:
http://www.lulu.com/about/member_agreement.php
http://www.webook.com/faq
http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/symploke/v016/16.1-2.singh.html