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

1 comment:

  1. I think it's really interesting how there are websites that allow people do collaborative work and art. Such as blogs are meant for people to write their thoughts and for others to reply to them, in a way making it a collaborative project. I think today's class, talking about postsecret, could really help you too because these are people, whether through snail mail, or via the web, are sharing their secrets and in the end this other author compiles them to make a whole book, that is a great example of many people coming together to make something bigger. I am focusing on twitter.com for my project and i found out someone has writen a book, or is in the process of writing a book where he is taking people's twitter status and writing a whole story solely using these statues. So who gets credit there? It's something I am going to address but could work for you too.

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