Jocelyn's Other Desk

The writings of Jocelyn Smith, aspiring author, soon-to-be lawyer, once and future politician, all-around opinionated twentysomething.

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Location: Orlando, Florida, United States

I'm a lawyer in Florida, working on three novels, a screenplay, and half a dozen pieces of fanfiction at any given moment.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Intellectual Property Overload!

This semester it's going to all IP, all the time!

I just dropped Health Law (I'm doing the "practice" version in my Public Policy clinc and it's a boring subject anyway) and signed up for a seminar on the Theoretical Foundations of Intellectual Property law, which will, "evaluate and compare a variety of theoretical foundations for recognizing or refusing to recognize legal ownership of intangible intellectual goods."

This makes me very happy. I am a nerd.

The other seminar I am taking is Comparative Cyberspace/Telecommunications Law, covering such exciting topics as
  • free speech on the Internet (watch out, Claire!)
  • telecommunications competition and development
  • Internet privacy
  • copyright and domain names
  • spectrum policy and wireless communications
  • jurisdiction

This makes me happy too. I am an incredible nerd.

Both courses are writing courses--meaning no exams this semester and words cannot DESCRIBE how happy THAT make me--so I shall probably have to come up with a subject for a term paper relating to the Internet and intellectual property...

Oh gee...wonder what I'll write about?

My IP class professor knows about my fanfiction hobby, so she may want me to write about something else. Perhaps the Purdue v. Brown case and scenes a faire...

And next semester I'm taking Trademarks.


Blogger Claire said...

free speech on the Internet (watch out, Claire!)

I'm all for free speech, Jocelyn. I really am. I'm all for free and RESPONSIBLE speech.

For example hate speech has no place anywhere. Speech advocating and promoting violence against an individual or a group has no place anywhere.

You know 'Fighting Words'.

Okay, back to obsessing over the Hurricane coverage.

2:50 AM  
Blogger Jocelyn Smith said...

(Also obsessing over hurricane coverage. Gads.)

As far as fighting words and violence incitement goes, I absolutely agree. But speech that is "irresponsible" should not automatically be banned.

Lots of speech is irresponsible: people who deliberately twist the truth for political purposes, or slander/libel, etc...but the slippery slope into a world of prior restraints is a very real thing. I know it doesn't seem that way sometimes, but it looms in a lot of ways, especially in this age of amorphous targets in the war on terror.

Still, since I plan to make the free speech/free culture on the Internet my topic for my paper for that class, I should have some interesting stuff in my research to post here!

3:07 AM  
Blogger Claire said...

As far as fighting words and violence incitement goes, I absolutely agree. But speech that is "irresponsible" should not automatically be banned.

Agreed on irresponsible political speech. That appears to be the nature of that beast. Problem with free speech is people often say thing just because they can. If they say it and nobody says - 'Hey! You're out of line!' then they say worse things. Words translate into actions over time as ears and hearts deaden to the meaning behind the words. We've seen it often enough in history.

So - hate speech. Reducing a group of people to a word or an attribute. Using that word or attribute in an abusive, derogatory way. It dehumanizes them. It's easier to hate a group to which an insulting epithet has been assigned, than to make an effort to see them as people and find points of connection.

The worst is when people say it's only a joke. That's the excuse. Or it's only fiction. A great big haha. Or behave without understanding or compassion, make it all black and white, but define what black and white mean to suit them. Thoughtful protest or opposition is disparaged.

But this is where the difference between grownups and adults makes itself known.

12:13 PM  

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