CCCC07: IP Caucus

I’m in New York, where the 2007 meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication got underway today. I’d meant to finish up Cadet Casey’s story before the conference started, but time got away from me, so I’ll see if I can make the time to do so tomorrow before serious conference-blogging gets underway.

The Intellectual Property caucus was engaging and productive. From what I understand, a lot of what went on will be summarized at the CCCCIP site in days to come, and it’s late with an early day for me tomorrow, so I’ll be brief in my notes here. Karen Lunsford started the meeting, and while she made a number of important points and exhortations, what I found most interesting was her description of the University of Kansas’s March 10, 2005 University Council resolution, which declared the importance of access to scholarly information and called on all faculty members to ask publishers for permission “to permit the deposition of a digital copy of every article accepted by a peer-reviewed journal into [an open access] repository.” According to other people at the meeting, the University of California system is working toward a similar initiative. Such a move would have profound implications for scholars and the circulation of knowledge, and one can only hope more institutions follow suit. Charlie Lowe followed Karen, talking some about Creative Commons and the IP Caucus Open Source Software resolution, encouraging schools and faculty to explore the possibilities offered by OSS in their work and their students’ work. John Logie then spoke for a while about the relationship between the CCCC IP Committee and the CCCC IP Caucus: the caucus is essentially a task force, he said, while the committee has “administrative teeth.” While the Committee is the formal arm, he suggested, the Caucus is more of a grassroots space where radical, powerful ideas take shape. He talked about the annual “Top IP Stories” he’s working on, where people discuss the most important news stories involving intellectual property in the past year, such as the 2006 US Appeals Court decision in Bill Graham Archives v. Dorling Kindersley wherein the Court ruled that the remixed re-publication of Grateful Dead concert posters qualified as fair use under Section 107 of U.S. copyright law.

After Logie spoke, the caucus broke into work groups. I was in a group dedicated to unpacking IP issues in the classroom: as Carol Havilland put it, we as composition scholars have a habit of engaging intellectual property concerns in complex conceptual ways, but then turn around and teach our students simple rules without helping them explore the rationales behind them. We wound up talking about what it would look like to teach an “ethics of citation” and what such an ethics would do and how it would work. Brian Ballentine was the one taking notes, and I’m sure he’ll recap the session with more grace and facility than mine at ccccip.org. Our small group session closed with Havilland offering an interesting proposal: it might be useful, she suggested, to look for cases to share with our colleagues where the rules we express to our students come into conflict with other rules, with institutional principles, or with what we see as ethical behavior.

Enough for tonight. Tomorrow, I present, and I’ll be attending more than a few sessions and meetings — I’ll see how well my note-taking holds up.

Update: Bradley’s blogged it, as well.

CCCC07: IP Caucus

One thought on “CCCC07: IP Caucus

  • March 23, 2007 at 10:18 am
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    I’m glad that you’re blogging this–I haven’t gone to any of the IP sessions because I’m going to a conference on it in May at UMUC, but that doesn’t mean I’m not curious about what’s being discussed here.

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