Purpose: In this world of rapid and easy exchange of information online, the gray areas of copyright have become an even darker shade. Is it wrong to copy music or movie files without paying, for example? Information is out there on the web, and many feel that there is a need for intellectual property laws to evolve. A controversy exists in our time over what constitutes intellectual property and how it should be protected. Bills presented in the House and Senate (SOPA and PIPA) aimed to protect businesses against foreign internet theft raised many questions about public internet freedom. Other internet-related intellectual property entities such as open source, creative commons, and fair use doctrine also require scrutiny. As students, you should be aware of current conversations about student intellectual property and ethics involving essays stored online via content management system plagiarism detectors (e.g., Turnitin.com on D2L). File sharing creates new parameters for discovering and determining instances of plagiarism. Intellectual property virtually touches almost any entity that you can think of,  from designer knockoffs to medicine, from songwriting to classroom lesson plans. The purpose of the assignment is to develop a research essay with at least two outside sources supporting a thesis that demonstrates a solid understand of what constitutes intellectual property and how the laws govern its protection. You decide which facet of intellectual property to research.

Assignment: Choose an issue involving intellectual property and write an MLA style academic essay. The following “argumentative” strategies are possible for development:

*Comparing and Contrasting



*Classifying and Dividing

*Explaining Processes

This essay should segue from Essay #1, incorporating summary, analysis, and synthesis, and selective use of quoted material for support.

The particular facet of intellectual property that you wish to discuss is at your discretion. You may be interested in researching medicine patents, creative musical intellectual property, or intellectual property in academe. You may want to know how laws regarding intellectual property vary in different parts of the world and why discrepancies in ethics regarding intellectual property import/export pose a problem in the current information age. Or you may be interested in some other issues involving intellectual property in your field of study. In your essay you may wish to define and develop an understanding of the background of copyright law in the U.S. and First Sale Doctrine. For this assignment I will be looking for how well you incorporate your sources into your own argument, and how well you enter into the conversation. Remember that the best academic writing is in response to what others say (Graff and Birkenstein).

Requirements: Stemming from the Library Research Session, you must have at least TWO (2) outside sources and can use the sources that you find for the Evaluating Resources Assignment. Include a Works Cited page with proper MLA entries. Citations must be in MLA format, which means in-text parenthetical references and a Works Cited Page. At least five (5) FULL pages typed, double-spaced, MLA format PLUS a Works Cited page (6 pp. total, max 6 pp.). Refer to the resources posted on the Blackboard Announcement