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November 21, 2004


To say that my post on Frozen isnt exactly "on point" with our class isn't true at all. In fact comparing the social norms and reactions b/w plagiarism and intellectual property infringment appears to be a lens from which it is useful to analyze the "future of copyright" (the direction of our class).

In a November 2002 Hastings Law Review Article (54 HSTLJ 167), Stuart Green (law prof at LSU) discussed the differing attitudes b/w plagiarism and the "misappropriation of intellectual property." Though I dont necessarily agree with his conclusion he states:

"At the same time the relative robustness of the rule against plagiarism suggests a partial solution to the problem of resistance to intellectual property crimes legislation. If the state is serious about enforcing IP laws, it cannot simply expect to impose harsh criminal sanctions, stand back, and wait for compliance. It needs to convince the public that misappropriation of IP is morally wrong (if in fact it is) and that the laws prohibiting such misappropriation are legitimate."

The reason I posted on Frozen and Mr. Gladwell's article in reaction, is because I believe (as opposed to Stuart Green) that the divergence of the social norms highlights the fact that p2p users share because they know they can get away with it (not b/c they think morally permissible). In this sense analyzing the "copynorm" appears to me at least, to be extremely relevant with respect to the direction our class has headed.

Stuart Green concludes, "As we seek ways to make our intellectual property law more robust, we would do well to look to the normative structures surrounding plagiarism for guidance." I agree.

no no, i didnt mean to infer that the original posting was inappropriate or out of place in any way. i was just commenting on the fact that most of our seminar has centered around p2p and music, and left novels and plagiarism a bit to the side. obviously plagiarism is an important part of copyright (as i hope my post has demonstrated) as are the copynorms associated with both it and p2p file sharing- especially the divergence between the two.

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