Summary: In this assignment, you will write a short essay arguing a side of the question Should intellectual property law limit the links an author can make on the Web?
Assigned: Sunday, 24 August 2003
Due: 8 a.m., Thursday, 28 August 2003
To Turn In: Fourteen printed copies of your essay (double-spaced, please). Please email me a copy of your essay, too.
Purposes: I intend this assignment and your work for the assignment to provide a variety of benefits. In particular, I expect that they will
The World Wide Web is an online collection of information written by
many different individuals, with different documents (pages) hosted on
different computers. The Web permits authors to include
to other pages in their own pages. As readers browse Web pages, they may
select a link in one document and immediately obtain the linked document.
The Issue: Some authors of Web pages object to having others link to their pages. To ground their objections, these authors often claim that such links violate their intellectual property rights. Other authors claim a right to link freely to any document.
Essay Topic: Write a short essay supporting either the claim that links violate (or should violate) intellectual property rights or the claim that links do not (or should not) violate intellectual property rights. You may rely on your own opinions, on appropriate writings you identify, on court cases, and on the U.S. Code.
On this essay, I ask you to take a particular general perspective.
Note that your claim will necessarily be more specific than simply
Web links do (do not) violate IP law. The assignments are as follows:
Length: 300-600 words.
Audience: You are writing for the typical Web reader. Your reader has probably used links and heard of intellectual property, but has not thought deeply about implications of links or about intellectual property law. Your goal is to convince the reader of your assigned perspective.
I expect to post your essays on the Web, so your readers really will be typical Web readers.
Suggested Structure: Because this is a relatively
short essay, I suggest that you follow the
five paragraph essay
format. Here's my version of that format.
You should refer to the Williams and McInerny essay as you work on your introductory and concluding paragraphs.
Some Potential Sources:
http://www.cs.rice.edu/~dwallach/dilbert/(note that an included image is not the same as a link)
Citing Sources: I expect you to use at least one source within this document.
Friday, 15 August 2003 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]
I usually create these pages
on the fly, which means that I rarely
proofread them and they may contain bad grammar and incorrect details.
It also means that I tend to update them regularly (see the history for
more details). Feel free to contact me with any suggestions for changes.
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