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Essjay's ethos: rethinking textual origins and intellectual property
Abstract Discussions of intellectual property are oDiscussions of intellectual property are often the focus of rhetoric and composition research, and the question of textual origins grounds these discussions. Through an examination of Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia anyone can edit, this essay addresses disciplinary concerns about textual origins and intellectual property through a discussion of situated and constructed ethos.cussion of situated and constructed ethos.
Added by wikilit team Added on initial load  +
Collected data time dimension Longitudinal  +
Conclusion Wikipedia opens the door for editors like Wikipedia opens the door for editors like Essjay who claim to be something they are not. Requiring experts to provide RL identities is one way of addressing this problem, but Wikipedia offers a different solution by grounding knowledge in the ever-shifting terrain of citation rather than in the expert Wikipedian. Far from being a mere “online” phenomenon, Wikipedia gestures toward an emerging rhetoric that offers us ways to rethink the intersections of ethos, identity, intellectual property, and textual origins. Discussions about Essjay often come back to ethics: Is it not wrong to claim something that you are not? Further, is the ability for Wikipedians to remain anonymous an ethical policy? However, we might turn these questions around: What are the ethics of claiming to be the origin of a text? And how ethical is it to point to credentials as a way of stopping discussion? It is crucial for rhetoricians to study online spaces and consider these ethical and rhetorical questions. The insights we gather from spaces like Wikipedia can offer some clues as to how the field of rhetoric and composition might refine its theories and practices.n might refine its theories and practices.
Data source Wikipedia pages  +
Google scholar url  +
Has author James J. Brown +
Has domain Philosophy and ethics + , Law +
Has topic Ethics + , Contributor perceptions of credibility +
Peer reviewed Yes  +
Publication type Journal article  +
Published in College Composition and Communication +
Research design Case study  +
Research questions Howard’s approach provides a starting poinHoward’s approach provides a starting point for my analysis as I attempt to drill down from a discussion of intellectual property to the issue of textual origins. I do this to address the question that grounds composition’s discussions about intellectual property. While a new media environment that allows texts to be easily combined and/ or redistributed has not created this question of determining textual origins, it has provided a continual reminder of the impossibility of cleanly linking a text with its origin.of cleanly linking a text with its origin.
Revid 10,751  +
Theories While Searle seeks a speech-act theory thaWhile Searle seeks a speech-act theory that rigorously delineates context and tends to focus on the intentions of the speaker/writer, Derrida questions the stability of author, audience, text, and context. And this is what leads him to question Searle’s assertion of copyright. For Derrida, Searle’s handwritten copyright mark implicitly grants that the origin of a sign is always up for grabs. Searle’s copyright mark (or, we might argue, any claim to copyright) is a rearguard reaction to such citationality. Derrida’s theory of citationality allows us to rethink how we link a text with an origin. Attaching a name or identity to any utterance (written or spoken) is only a provisional, after-the-fact gesture that attempts to manage the complexities of linguistic the complexities of linguistic origins.
Theory type Analysis  +
Title Essjay's ethos: rethinking textual origins and intellectual property
Unit of analysis User  +
Volume 61  +
Wikipedia coverage Main topic  +
Wikipedia data extraction Live Wikipedia  +
Wikipedia language Not specified  +
Wikipedia page type User:talk  + , Policy  + , Discussion and Q&A  +
Year 2009  +
Creation dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 15 March 2012 20:26:32  +
Categories Ethics  + , Contributor perceptions of credibility  + , Philosophy and ethics  + , Law  + , Publications with missing comments  + , Publications  +
Modification dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 30 January 2014 20:26:00  +
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