[ISEA2011] Panel: Joel Swan­son & Rachel Beth Egen­hoe­fer (moderators) – Code: Intellectual Property, Fair Use and Plagiarism (Open Discussion)

Panel Statement

Chair Per­sons: Joel Swan­son & Rachel Beth Egen­hoe­fer
Pre­sen­ters: Zach Blas & Maja Kalogera

In her book “My Mother was a Com­puter,” the­o­rist N. Kather­ine Hayles has writ­ten about the crit­i­cal dif­fer­ences be­tween nat­ural lan­guages and com­puter lan­guages. She writes, “…?code dif­fers from speech and writ­ing in that it ex­ists in clearly dif­fer­en­ti­ated ver­sions that are ex­e­cutable in a process that in­cludes hard­ware and soft­ware…” (Hayles 52). The rise of dig­i­tal arts within aca­d­e­mic pro­grams has meant that many more peo­ple are now learn­ing how to pro­gram and write code. Within the dig­i­tal arts, pro­gram­ming is most often taught through code sam­ples, tu­to­ri­als, mod­i­fi­ca­tion and adap­ta­tion. But this prac­tice can be­come prob­lem­atic as we try to lo­cate in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty through reg­u­la­tory prac­tices de­signed for nat­ural lan­guage, like pla­gia­rism, onto com­puter lan­guages. Pla­gia­rism is taken ex­tremely se­ri­ously within higher ed­u­ca­tion, but rules gov­ern­ing these prac­tices ex­hibit cer­tain fail­ings when ap­plied to non-nat­ural lan­guages. Within the hu­man­i­ties, there are nu­mer­ous and highly de­tailed meth­ods for ci­ta­tion (MLA, Chicago, etc.). Yet within pro­gram­ming, there is a lack of stan­dard­ized ci­ta­tion prac­tices. Be­yond the prac­ti­cal level of ci­ta­tion, how should orig­i­nal­ity and in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty be lo­cated within com­puter code? Ad­di­tion­ally, there has been ample di­a­logue sur­round­ing ap­pro­pri­a­tion and Fair Use of im­agery, but again, code stands in con­trast to the logic of the image. For code, what is orig­i­nal, how should au­thor­ship be lo­cated and de­marked, and what con­cepts fall under the aus­pices of Fair Use?

Through an open dis­cus­sion, this panel seeks to ad­dress these the­o­ret­i­cal com­plex­i­ties, and ex­plore ped­a­gog­i­cal per­spec­tives and prac­ti­cal so­lu­tions. The scope of this panel will in­clude the­o­ret­i­cal per­spec­tives on the dif­fer­ences be­tween nat­ural lan­guage and code, legal per­spec­tives on Fair Use and In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty, and ped­a­gog­i­cal per­spec­tives on teach­ing com­puter pro­gram­ming.

  • Zach Blas is an artist and writer work­ing at the in­ter­sec­tions of net­worked media, queer­ness, and the po­lit­i­cal. he is par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in ac­tivist art that ad­dress the meth­ods and styles in which tech­nolo­gies, bod­ies, and cap­i­tal im­pact, re­con­sti­tute, and pro­lif­er­ate as­sem­blages of sex­u­al­ity, gen­der, and knowl­edge, along­side the po­ten­tials and pos­si­bil­i­ties of re­shap­ing these as­sem­blages as well as re­con­fig­ur­ing un/human modes of agency and re­sis­tance. his cur­rent pro­ject, queer tech­nolo­gies, is an or­ga­ni­za­tion that de­vel­ops ap­pli­ca­tions and sit­u­a­tions for queer in­ter­ven­tion and so­cial for­ma­tion.  Zach is a phd stu­dent in lit­er­a­ture, in­for­ma­tion sci­ence + in­for­ma­tion stud­ies, and vi­sual stud­ies at duke uni­ver­sity. he holds a mfa from the de­sign | media arts de­part­ment at the uni­ver­sity of cal­i­for­nia los an­ge­les, a post-bac­calau­re­ate cer­tifi­cate from the school of the art in­sti­tute of chicago in the art and tech­nol­ogy stud­ies de­part­ment, and a bach­e­lor of sci­ence from boston uni­ver­sity in film and phi­los­o­phy.
  • Maja Kalogera is an artist, cu­ra­tor and com­mu­nity cat­a­lyst who con­sis­tently places her­self at the con­ver­gence of art and tech­nol­ogy. Born in Za­greb, she holds B.F.A. from School of Ap­plied and Vi­sual arts, Za­greb and M.?Arch.?from Ar­chi­tec­ture Uni­ver­sity, Za­greb. From 1999 she is mem­ber of the on­line col­lec­tive wowm.?org. Her cre­ative work over the past 15 years has in­cluded a wide range of medi­ums in­clud­ing dig­i­tal and in­ter­ac­tive media, pho­tog­ra­phy, paint­ing, video and film. In 2005, she founded Cen­ter for syn­ergy of dig­i­tal and vi­sual arts, a Za­greb based NGO, that pro­vides her unique ap­proach fo­cused on syn­ergy be­tween tra­di­tional art media with new, dig­i­tal media. In her own own art­work she is in­ter­ested in how peo­ple par­tic­i­pate in phys­i­cal and vir­tual spaces. This has led to dig­i­tal tools and in­ter­ac­tive pro­jects as “Ground of My Stu­dio”, “Ac­ces­si­ble Hap­pi­ness”, “Is this a pic­ture?” and “Rothko Gen­er­a­tor”.