CUNY COMPosition & Rhetoric Community

IP Path to Green Light.

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(Sean Molloy 23 Aug. 2014)

Overview:  Students read some or all of the graphic novel Bound By Law? which summarizes intellectual property issues from the perspective of a documentary filmmaker.  [My Fall 2014 class will read pp 1-35  and discuss the ways the copyright law protections have recently expanded, have been further affected by new technologies and a rising “rights culture”–  and what all this means for student movie makers.]

Then, students can use my IP Pathway to Green Light chart to evaluate whether they can “clear rights” to the elements in their planned movie project.  Finally, they will write an IP analysis of the choices they are making in their movie.

Here is a sample assignment.  Here my Pathway to Green Light Chart:

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Click Here for a downloadable PDF of the pathway.

Teaching Goals/Theoretical Rationale: Under United States law, intellectual property issues go all the way back to Article One Section Eight of the Constitution, which gave Congress the power to “promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries”.   Although copyright violations are potential concerns in any writing project, practical issues arise much much often for students in digital composing because: 1) student movies combine audio, video, image, text and voice elements and 2) because we ask them to publish to internet platforms where protecting copyrights is an important issue and possible infringements are likely to be noticed.  The publishing problems faced by student movie makers mirror larger questions about the expansions of copyright protections over the last three decades and a rising “rights culture” that threatens to prevent us from telling important stories. (Bound By Law? 19-33).

Teaching Tips/Examples of Student Work:  This is a new assignment as of Fall 2014.

Work Cited

Aoki, Keith, James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins. Bound By Law? Tales From the Public Domain. Duke Center for the Study of the Public Domain. 2006. Web.  22 Aug. 2014.