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The moral legitimacy of intellectual property and copyright as policy and code: librarians, pirates, and the myth of the intellectual commons (SIG IFP)

Randall B. Kemp [Organizer] Information School, University of Washington; Pnina Shachaf [Organizer] School of Library and Information Science, Indiana University; Kenneth Einar Himma Department of Philosophy, Seattle Pacific University; Cavinda Caldera School of Information Studies, Syracuse University; Kathryn Clodfelter School of Library and Information Science, Indiana University

Sparking Synergies: Bringing Research and Practice Together @ ASIST '05 (ASIS&T 2005)
Westin Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, October 28 - November 2, 2005


Purely intra-disciplinary discussions about the legitimacy of intellectual property rights (e.g., a purely legal discussion or a theoretical discussion from within just one discipline) tend to provide an incomplete picture of the current research on this important ethical issue. This panel will address both research and practice by showcasing a triangulated approach to current thoughts on ethical issues of intellectual property rights. One approach, from philosophy, critiques the argument that intellectual property rights are illegitimate because they deplete the information commons and finds this view wanting. A second approach addresses the ethics of intellectual property infringement from the point of view of the digital pirate, asking if an ethic exists for virtual property. The third member of the panel surveys libraries and library association ethics codes that actually reference copyright and intellectual property responsibilities for the librarian. The final presentation illustrates a practitioner’s approach of technical writers and web designers to intellectual property. These four views in conjunction present a holistic picture of research and practice of the ethics of intellectual property policies from philosophical, legal, and professional communities.

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