LIS550: Information in a Social Context
Instructor: Brian Rowe, J.D.
TA: Bryce Newell J.D.
Class Blog: BrianRowe.org/LIS550/
This course examines legal and ethical issues affecting information use, with an emphasis on problems involving competing values. Topics include:
- the interaction of government and law with information networks
- the duties and roles of information professionals in legal compliance
- organizational governance
- information as intellectual property
- privacy rights
- proprietary rights
- government and private surveillance and data warehousing
- human rights
- disability and accessibility rights
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to discuss orally and in writing:
- The relationship between information policy, ethics and technology
- Strategies for sharing and protecting copyrights, patents & trademarks
- The importance of and problems with Terms of Service and End User License Agreements
- Stakeholder needs and rights in information management policy decisions
- Reaction from the public for information policy decisions
- Methods of engaging in open-decision making that give stakeholders a buy-in to decisions made
- The impact of information management decisions on diverse populations including but not limited to; social, economic, cultural and disability-related diversity
This is not a lecture class, this is a discussion class with projects and presentations. All readings must be done before class. We will spend about half of each day working through concepts in the readings together in a Socratic dialogue. The other half of class will be spent on group activities, guest speakers or student presentations. I expect you and I will learn as much, if not more from, your fellow students as from the instructor. The questions in class will often have no right answers.
Course Schedule, Topics and Readings:
No text is required for this course. All readings are available online. Beyond the required reading you would be well advised to keep up on current events related to the topics of this class. Some recent links & news stories will be distributed each week via the blog, and will be discussed at the beginning of each class.
Intro and Overview of Topics
Course Overview, Blogging Assignments, Introductions & Preview of Issues
- Post from Schneier on Security – In Praise of Security Theater
- Posner and Becker – The Future of Newspapers–Posner and The Social Cost of the Decline of Newspapers?Becker New links: http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2009/06/the-future-of-newspapers–posner.html and http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2009/06/the-social-cost-of-the-decline-of-newspapersbecker.html
- Pamela Samuelson – Google Books Is Not a Library
- Free Culture – Download PDF – Intro, Chapter 1, Chapter 4, Chapter 5 Here is an updated link to pdf: http://www.jus.uio.no/sisu/
free_culture.lawrence_lessig/there are several versions available online: Multiple Formats, searchable version available online ( html, XML, opendocument ODF, pdf (landscape, portrait), plaintext, concordance ), SiSU Audio book @ http://www.archive.org/details/free-culture-audiobook portrait.pdf
- The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It: Download PDF – Intro, Chapter 1, Chapter 3
No class January 11th
Privacy Part I (Friday January 13th lead by Bryce Newell)
Nissenbaum – PRIVACY AS CONTEXTUAL INTEGRITY http://crypto.stanford.edu/
RETHINKING REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS OF PRIVACY IN ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORKS page 49 to 61 The EU comparison section & conclusion : http://jolt.richmond.edu/
Philosophy overview: heavy question day be ready to compare & contrast readings and approaches presented.
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Explore the Global Network Initiative website – Read the GNI Wiki Primer
- Wikipedia – John Rawls – Theory of Justice – Veil of Ignorance original position . Also be prepared to talk about learning from/with Wikipedia.
- Optional: Freedom Defined – freedomdefined.org/Definition
ATJ Tech Principles & Applying philosophies to systems. Come to class prepared to apply differing ethical lenses to test cases
- The Wash State ATJ Tech Principles-A Perspective for Justice System Professionals 27 Justice System Jrnl 248 9-28-06 by Zorza-Horowitz A PDF version is now up
Economics and Intro to IP
Rivalrous property v. Non-rivalrous property, copyright history, What is and is not copyright. Copyright v. Trademarks v. Rights of Publicity, Class discussion on economics of IP
- Tehranian, Infringement Nation: Copyright Reform and the Law/Norm Gap (2008)
- A framework for patents and copyrights in the Digital Age. (Everything you know about intellectual property is wrong.)
- Optional: Digital copyright –Jessica Litman Chapter 2 The Art of Making Copyright Law
- Optional: Samuelson, Preliminary Thoughts on Copyright Reform (2008)
- Fair Use Stanford’s site: read page link and http://fairuse.stanford.edu/
Copyright_and_Fair_Use_(If you only read one page make it this page the case) Then look up one of the cases, your choice on google or Wikipedia or google’s case law search Overview/chapter9/9-c.html#5
- Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, 510 U.S. 569 (1994).
- Copyright act Section 107
- The Big Idea, KEI, James Love
- Bilski v. Kappos – 08-964 Bilski v. Kappos (06/28/2010)
- Bilski case background
- End Software patents (Look through site pay attention to Isreal & Australia or other international news)
- Additional reading coming based on current cases
Copyright, ToS & EULA
Who owns User Generated Content (UGC), In-depth discussion of assigned TOS’s.
- World of War Craft ToS / EULA
- Second Life TOS
- You Tube TOS
- EFF’s Terms of (Ab)use project
- What is a License BSA definition
- MDY Cheating at WOW Bad or copyright infringement – Public Knowledge Amici Brief
Wikileaks & whistle blowers
- Wikileaks War on Secrecy @ Time
- NYT 1986 Privacy Law Is Outrun by the Web
- Wikipedia on Wikileaks
- current news related to wikileakes
Kindle & Digital Rights Management
Kindle 1984 and Text to Speech, Owning digital goods, Licensing
- TOS for Kindle
- Amazon Erases Orwell Books From Kindle – NY times article
- Jeff Bezos’s Kindle 1984 apology
- Reading Rights Coalition (read through the site and identify issues)
- E-Book Rights Alert: Amazon’s Kindle 2 Adds “Text to Speech” Function
Using / Sharing and Infringement of Copyrights
- Copyleft intro – by Sharee L. Broussard
- DMCA 512
- DMCA FAQ Chilling effect
- Cory Doctorow – Mircosoft Research DRM talk
Secrets and Personal Information & UGC
Is Privacy Dead? Readings
Nehf, Shopping for Privacy Online: Consumer Decision-Making Strategies and the Emerging Market for Information Privacy (2005) Brandeis and Warren, “The Right to Privacy” (1890) Schneier Privacy and Control on originally appeared on Forbes.com Privacy is a transaction cost – Eric Bell
User Generated Content & Fair Use – You Decide
- Orginization for Transformative Works Skim site
- read any one article from: http://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc
- The downside of UGC
- Fair use Principles for User Generated Video (pdf) EFF, PK
- Principles, Copyright Owners and UGC Services Sony, Disney
Google Books Settlement / Privacy
Orphaned Works and Competition
- Public Knowledge Amici Brief GBS
- The Libertarian Case Against the Google Book Search Deal Tim Lee
- Disability rights perspective letter and article
- EPIC Facebook Complaint
- The European Union Privacy Directive and Its Impact on the U.S. Privacy Protection Policy:
A Year 2003 Perspective
- Haynes, Online Privacy Policies: Contracting Away Control over Personal Information (2007)
- Update on facebook settlement (to be added)
Open Access & Paying for Research
International cross-border issues
Part 1: The Pirate Bay and living between legal borders
Between legal borders and exceptions
The Pirate Bay wikipedia page The Pirate Party International Agenda Access to Knowledge Movement (reading inc) Anonymous Article (reading inc)
Part 2: International Trade issues. Importing goods and information
- Costco v. Omega Case – explained simply @ IP Watch
- Impact of Costco v. Omega on Libraries by Jonathan Band
The final week is reserved for a more in-depth look at any topics students want to explore along with student presentations not held in other classes.
RSS to Scan
Keeping up on current events is essential to this class. Each class will begin with a review of recent news in ethics and information management. Here are a few sources to follow:
DeepLinks – EFF – Digital Civil Rights eff.org/deeplinks
Tech Dirt – Free Culture User Rights Slant -techdirt.com
Bottom up – Timothy Lee – Libertarian perspective on tech and information law timothyblee.com/
New York Times Bits Blog- bits.blogs.nytimes.com/
Danah Boyd of Microsoft Research – zephoria.org/thoughts/
Eric Goldman: http://blog.ericgoldman.org/
Assignments & Grading
Short Blogging Assignment:
Each student will write one short 150 to 300 word blog post on current news items related to the class. The post must contain at least 3 links to relevant sources and one related image or other form of multi-media. The post should also include at least one thought from the student about the news item. In the class following your blog post be prepared to be questioned over this news item specifically.
This assignment may be completed in non public format. Instead of posting to the blog you may post to the email list.
Long Blogging Assignment:
Each student will write one long 800 to 1500 word blog post on a topic covered in class. This is a serious reflection of a topic covered. The student needs to take a point of view and write in favor or against a rhetorical point made in class. The student is free to agree or disagree with points made in class and must reference the class readings. The logic and source cites used to defend the point of view are of critical importance in this post.
The student must also find at least one other online source that disagrees with their point of view on the same topic and respond to that source within the post. This assignment needs to show careful reflection of the topic and must engage viewpoints that agree and disagree with the author’s perspective. This assignment may be completed in non public format. In lieu of a public posting, it may be posted to the class email list.
Purpose: Integrate the topics and challenges of the class into a real world case study. Each group of 4 students will be given a real business’ information policies to study; Relating to privacy, copyrights, user generated content, trademarks and other issues discussed in the class.
Each group must prepare a 10 to 20 page case study of the company’s policies relating to topics covered in this class. This should include but is not limited to:
Review of the companies TOS or EULA
Review of Privacy policies
* Review of Copyright polices
* Identify any uses of DRM
* Assessment of private information that the company or service might be collecting and how that information should be handled as both an asset and a liability
* Possible rationale for why the polices are in place
* Recommendations for improvements in the policies including reasons for the recommended changes
This final group report should be of professional quality as if being presented to a manager at the company you have been assigned to evaluate.
Each student must choose one topic covered in the class and prepare a 5 minute talk that explores that aspect of the class in more depth. Students may choose any topic covered including weekly news, short blog posts, or long blog posts. The talk should be concise, focused, informative and well practiced.
The talk should include 2 to 20 visual aids or slides. Examples of short informative talks will be provided along with some basic speaking techniques. I take public speaking very seriously, anytime you have the undivided attention of a group of people you should prepare.
Each talk will also be followed by a Q&A session from the professor and class.
Each student is expected to participate in class discussions at least eight times through comments/questions in class, comments on the discussion board, or on the blog. At least two of those times must be in class and two of them must be online (via the private forum or the public blog), the other four times are up to you and can be in either forum.
Students may submit one video(3 to 5 minutes in length), an additional blog post, or written assignment of 500 to 1000 words. The video or written work include either best practices or a cross-cultural comparison with another country’s or groups norms. The extra credit must include sources and at least 2 sources not assigned in the the class. The extra credit may be done online and posted to the blog or posted to the email list. All extra credit must be received by the professor by March 16th
the last day of class (not finals week). Each extra credit topic must be pre-approved by the professor.
All written assignments must be completed and turned in by the beginning of class March 9th. The blog posts will be staggered through out the class.
Class participation: 15%
Short Form Blog Post: 10%
Long Form Blog Post: 20%
Group Project: 40%
Extra Credit: .2 grade points
Evaluation of Student Work
You may expect to receive comments on and evaluations of assignments and submitted work in a timely fashion. All work from the course will be returned, with comments, within two weeks of being submitted.
Students with Disabilities
To request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services: 448 Schmitz, 206-543-8924 (V/TTY). If you have a letter from DSS indicating that you have a disability which requires academic accommodations, please present the letter to me so we can discuss the accommodations you might need in the class.
For writing assignments, when ideas or materials of others are used, they must be cited. The format is not that important–as long as the source material can be located and the citation verified, it’s OK. What is important is that the material be cited. Parallel citations to open access sources should be included whenever possible.
In any situation, if you have a question, please feel free to ask. Such attention to ideas and acknowledgment of their sources is central not only to academic life, but life in general.
Please acquaint yourself with the University of Washington’s resources on academic honesty (http://depts.washington.edu/grading/issue1/honesty.htm).
Students are encouraged to take drafts of their writing assignments to the Odegaard Writing Center for assistance with using citations ethically and effectively. Information on scheduling an appointment can be found at: http://depts.washington.edu/owrc/.
All of the expressions of ideas in this class that are fixed in any tangible medium such as digital and physical documents are covered by copyright law by default. These expressions include the work product of both: (1) your student colleagues; and, (2) your instructors (e.g., the syllabus, assignments, reading lists, and lectures).
All work product of your professor, Brian Rowe, are made available under the Creative Commons BY License
* to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work
* to Remix — to adapt the work
Under the following condition: You must attribute the work as from “LIS:550 Information in a Social Context Winter’12 by Brian Rowe, 2012; First published by University of Washington’s iSchool”
To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Creative Commons License preserve your “fair use”, under Section 107 of the copyright act. Learn about those rights and use them!
All work products of your student colleagues are under All Rights Reserved and you must approach them to reuse their work beyond what fair use allows. Note that the class blog is default licensed under a CC BY license, if you want your work on the blog under a different license you must state that at the end of your blog post! (This is an example of opt-out licensing which we will discuss the ethics of in class)
If you have any questions regarding copyright, fair use or Creative Commons, please feel free to ask the instructor for guidance.
To support an academic environment of rigorous discussion and open expression of personal thoughts and feelings, we, as members of the academic community, must be committed to the inviolate right of privacy of our student and instructor colleagues. As a result, we must forego sharing personally identifiable information about any member of our community including information about the ideas they express, their families, life styles and their political and social affiliations. If you have any questions regarding whether a disclosure you wish to make regarding anyone in this course or in the iSchool community violates that person’s privacy interests, please feel free to ask the instructor for guidance.
Knowing violations of these principles of academic conduct or privacy may result in University disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct.
Student Code of Conduct
Good student conduct is important for maintaining a healthy course environment. Please familiarize yourself with the University of Washington’s Student Code of Conduct at:
- updated Free culture link 1-5-12 ,
- Added TA contact info. 1-4-12,
- Updated due dates 1-23-12
- Freedom defined moved to optional
- Cut reading on SOPA since the class list has covered
- cut back readings due to snow days 2-10-12
- Extended time on Extra credit