since 1965  (really?)

The Politics of Piracy

This course listing applies to a Spring 2010 course. To find current courses, check out the Find a Course page.

Spring 2010
Information 198
2 Unit(s)

Human friendly URL (OBSOLETE)


About the Course:

            Thanks to the personal computer, copying is easier than ever—and consequently, the sphere of copyright is bigger than ever. College students are routinely sued into bankruptcy for petty downloading. An FBI warning precedes every feature film on DVD, reminding viewers that duplication is a federal crime for which violators are subject to imprisonment or fines up to $150,000. And thanks to statutorily protected Digital Rights Management schemes, copyright holders can limit legitimate uses of copyrighted works as they see fit.

                What is piracy? How does it affect the (globalized) economy, institutions, public/private interests and the notions of privacy and freedom? Is there such a thing as “good” piracy? Over 57 million Americans have shared files on p2p networks— that’s more than the population of California and New York combined. Are all of these people pirates? Is it time to rethink our definition of piracy? How has the political environment in America contributed to stringent intellectual property protections?

                Students will be familiarized with the historical rationales and legal origins of copyright, the current debates surrounding it, and the implications of an old body of law adapting to a digital era. Should we look at the growing sphere of copyright as a public interest problem, or celebrate the expansion of creators’ rights? We’ll be doing some light reading, a lot of discussion, and some video viewings that relate to our discussions. We’ll also have some guest speakers come in to provide us with different perspectives.

Information about assignments and attendance is available in the syllabus.

*Note: The course will be held on Mondays from 5:00pm to 6:30pm.


How to Enroll:

First come, first served. Open to undergraduate as well as graduate students.

Course Contact: mattsenate AT

Faculty Sponsor: Paul Duguid

Time & Location:

Matthew Senate
30156 DwinelleM 5p-6:30p1/25started

Uploaded Files:

Syllabus: PoP_Spring_10_Syllabus.docNov 30149kbWord Doc (Viewer)View Download
Syllabus: PoP_Spring_10_Syllabus.docJan 25152kbWord Doc (Viewer)View Download

Course info last modified November 30, 2009. This page has been viewed 4502 times.

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