Copyright, Cyberlaw and the New Free Culture
H79..1 Wed 6:30pm to 9:00pm Frederick Benenson
The phrases ‘free software’, ‘free culture’, and ‘peer to peer production’ are often casually referenced in the current discourse on digital media and culture. But each are coherent topics and phenomena representing radical challenges to our established notions of authorship, ownership, and collaboration of cultural works. In order to fully investigate these new modes of production, this course will introduce basic concepts in copyright and cyberlaw (Are ideas ownable? What is fair use? What are my rights online?) while taking time to examine the underlying technology of our digital communications infrastructure (the TCP/IP stack, routing, file sharing, etc.). Students are expected to actively participate in free culture communities, open source projects, and engage in a discourse regarding the future of cultural production. A basic understanding of open communities and a desire to investigate the legal and technical implications of radical thought are required. Readings will include Lessig, Stallman, Benkler, Doctorow, Shirky, Barlow, Coleman, Patry, Wu, and Zittrain.
Needless to say I’m really excited to be back on floor 4!