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COS 490 - Lectures and Assignments

COS 490 Computers, Ethics and Society

You will read selected chapters out of several books for this course. You should purchase the first book but Books 2 though 5 are openly available online as well as by purchase.

Book 1. Cyberlaw Text and Cases, 3rd Edition (required)
Ferrera, Reder, Bird, Darrow, Aresty, Klosek, Lichtenstein (2012)
A primer covering basic cyberlaw issues from traditional or conventional legal perspectives. Purchase at the bookstore or online.

Book 2. Code Version 2.0 (free)
Lawrence Lessig (2008)
http://codev2.cc/

Book 3. Remix: Making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy (free)
Lawrence Lessig (2008)
http://www.bloomsburyacademic.com/remix.htm or see FirstClass Course Info Folder

Book 4. The Wealth of Networks (free)
Benkler, Yochai (2006)
full book pdf: http://www.benkler.org/Benkler_Wealth_Of_Networks.pdf
chapter pdfs: http://www.benkler.org/wonchapters.html

Book 5. The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind (free)
James Boyle (2008)
http://www.thepublicdomain.org/download/

Approximate Schedule of Lectures and Assignments

Wk Day Date
Topic
Book Reading Assignments*
Extra Assignments
Module
Video Link
1 T Sept 3 Introductory Materials  [SlidesIntro]

-

-
-
<failed audio>
TH Sept 5 (continued) Book 1: Ch 1
-
Module A
http://connect.maine.edu/p1gtdr1xhd8/
2 T Sept 10 Liability [SlidesLiability] Read Liability in Use of GIS
Module B

 

http://connect.maine.edu/p3w0klahwf0/
TH Sept 12 (continued)Innovation and Business Models Book 1: Ch 2
-
Module C
http://connect.maine.edu/p2r92bjr4ma/
3 T Sept 17 Jurisdiction and the Internet [SlidesJuris] Book 1: Ch 8 plus Book 2: Ch 7, 14 &15
-
Module D
TH Sept 19 Intellectual Property Basics [SlidesIPBasics] Book 1: Ch 4

Intellectual Property: The Basics, by Caseiro (see FirstCls)

Module E

 

4 T Sept 24 IP continued: Copyright

Book 1: Ch 5 plus Book 2: Ch 10

-
Module F
TH Sept 26 IP continued: Patents and Trade Secrets Book 1: Ch 6&7
-
Module G
video – failed to record
5 T Oct 1 IP continued
Book 5: Ch 3
Module H
TH Oct 3 Database Legislation & Academic Research [SlidesDtbs] Book 1: Ch 9 on Contracts & Ch 10 on Employment Relationship Term Paper Assigned
-
6 T Oct 8 Self-help Technologies: Contracts & Information Commons Concepts[SlidesCrCommons][SlidesDataCommons

Book 3: Ch 6&8 plus Book 4: Ch 3&4

Module I
TH Oct 10 (continued) Pollock Value of the Public Domain, Nelson, The Market Economy and Scientific Commons
Module J
7 T Oct 15 Fall Break
-
-
-
-
TH Oct 17 Public Information  [SlidesFOIA] [SlidesBorders]
-
Read Weiss summary or Pluijmers/Weiss Borders in Cyberspace Module K
8 T Oct 22 Public Information (con’t)
-
 Exploiting the Potential of Europe’s Public Sector Information
-
video
TH Oct 24 Public Information  [SlidesLocalGovt]

-

Read Ten Ways and GITA Whitepaper
Module L
 9 T Oct 29 (continued)
-
-
-

 

video
TH Oct 31 Free Speech [SlidesFreeSpeech] Book 2: Ch 12 View The Corporation
Module M
video
 10 T Nov 5 (continued)
-
ACLU Briefing Paper
Module N
video
TH Nov 7
Ethics [SlidesEthics]
Implementing G I Technologies Ethically
Module O
video
 11 T Nov 12 Privacy [SlidesPrivacy]

Book 1: Ch 12 plus Book 2: Ch 11

Engaging Privacy & IT: Exec Summary (see First Class)
Module P
TH Nov 14 Privacy [SlidesPrivacyGeo] [SlidesPrivacyUbiq]
View Cory Doctorow Video plus Wired article in FirstClass folder
-
12 T Nov 19
Privacy continued

-

Term Paper Due (changed to May 1)
-
TH Nov 21 Evidentiary Admissibility [SlidesEvid]
-
-
 13 T Nov 26 Security, Encryption, and IP Management Issues [SlidesSecurity]

Book 1: Ch 13

Mapping the Risks (Rand), Cybersecurity Today and Tomorrow (free download), Info Technology for Counterterrorism (free summary)
Module Q
TH Nov 28 Thanksgiving Break

-

-
-
-
14 T Dec 3 (continued)

-

One of: Next Generation Connectivity OR Open Source Software Business Models OR File-Sharing and Copyright
Module R
video
TH Dec 5 International Law and Trade Book 1: Ch 14 plus
Book 3: Chap 6&9
EU Database Directive Debate (Boyle) and Follow-Up, Is Bayh-Dole Good for Developing Countries?
Module S
video
15 T Dec 10 Developing Nation Perspectives [SlidesDevCntry]
-
Integrating IP and Development Policy, ICT: What Works, Online Delivery of Land Titles
Module T
video
TH Dec 12 Review
-
-
video
 T Dec 16 Final Exam Week
-
Final Exam
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-

Class Process and Assignments

1. Post Your Regular Reponses on FirstClass: Each module assignment below requires each student to respond to all of the questions posed and post the responses in the FirstClass Assignment folder by the day and time indicated. That is, posting is required by both on-campus and on-line students prior to the on-campus class period in which the material will be discussed. Label each and every posting with your last name followed by the module number (e.g. Smith – Module A). Within your submission list the entire question before providing your response for each question (e.g. A1, A2, etc.)

Be concise yet thoughtful and use complete sentences. In some instances a several paragraph response to a question may be appropriate. In other instances, a hundred-words response may be adequate. You will be able to see compiled responses from all students posted by the instructor after 8:00 pm on the evening of the days before we meet.

2. Moderator Responsibilities: Each in-class student or pair of students is assigned to moderate the class discussion for one or more modules. You should read all of your peers’ responses prior to class and be familiar with them. You may be given anywhere from 0 minutes to 75 minutes to discuss the questions depending on other ground to be covered during the class period. As moderator your role is not to give a lecture on what you or other people have stated in their written responses but to engage all other members of class to the extent possible in a discussion of their responses and affiliated issues raised in the readings. In some instances you may have time to call on only two or three classmates to discuss their responses but certainly your goal should be to engage as many classmates as possible. Be ready to ask further questions of your peers on the material if the discussion lags. Editor Responsibilities: <no editors this semester due to small size of class> After your moderator session you will summarize in writing the discussion of the module. Each editor will publish a short summary (no more than one page or 500 words per question, whichever is shorter) that describes the essence of our class discussion findings and conclusions for each question. This summary should address issues raised in the initial student written responses as well as in the face-to-face discussions. I highly recommend that you prepare this summary immediately after the session you moderate. If you have a co-editor you may work together or split up the questions. The summaries are due on <month> <day> so that these summaries may be used to review the course during our last class session. Post your class summary as follows: <your last name> – SUMMARY OF MODULE <xx>.

Substitute Assignment for Online Students: <no online offering this semester> Online students do not have moderator or editor responsibilities. Rather, you are required to read an additional book during the semester from an instructor suggested list (or you nominate another). After the selection has been approved by the instructor, read the book and then write a  summary and review paper on the book that concludes with your own reflections on the issues raised in the book. The paper is due on or prior to May 1. The list of books and explicit instructions are <forthcoming>.

3. Submitting Your Journal: Your journal consists of the compilation of all your personal module assignment responses prepared and submitted throughout the semester. I suggest that you keep a running Word, rtf, or similar document. Copy all of the module questions below into this document, place the module responses in this document as you complete the readings, and then cut and paste each individual module response into FirstClass when that assignment is due. Responses to all modules must be included in your Journal at the end of the semester even if you miss responding on time for a specific class due to illness or otherwise. You may want to review and edit your journal entries prior to final submission but no module response should exceed 500 words or a single page, whichever is shorter. The journal is due on December 12 and should be posted in the appropriate FirstClass folder as follows: <your last name> – COS 490 COURSE JOURNAL

Grading

Module Assignments – 20%
Quizzes and Class Participation – 20%
Mid-term (Social Issues and Professional Practice Outcomes Assessment Exam) – 20%
Additional Book: Summary and Review Paper (writing to be reviewed with potential rewrite) – 20%
Final Exam – 20%

Module Assignments

Module A – Introduction
Moderator/Editor: Ryan Billings

Assignment: Book 1: Ch 1
The critical questions are:
A-1 After reviewing the syllabus and considering your own career aspirations, which information systems law issue do you think is most critical for you to understand thoroughly by the end of the course?
A-2 What were the most significant contributions by individuals, the academic/research community, government and businesses  in development of the Internet? What were the most significant contributions by these same sectors in development of the World Wide Web?
A-3 Raise and reflect on one or more questions or issues related to the readings that you most like to discuss with the rest of the class.
All students respond to these questions on FirstClass before 8:00 PM on the evening before class

Module B – Liability
Moderator/Editor: David Cass

Assignment: Read Liability in Use of GIS
The critical questions are:
B-1 Considering the article on Liability in the Use of GIS, how can you best minimize your liability exposure in the future in your delivery of information software, products and services to others?
B-2 Under what circumstances should you be held responsible for damages to others if they are led astray by inaccurate or incomplete digital information that you provided?
B-3 Raise and reflect on one or more questions or issues related to the readings that you most like to discuss with the rest of the class.
All students respond to these questions on FirstClass before 8:00 PM on the evening before class.

Module C – Innovation and Business Models
Moderator/Editor: Sean Edwards
Assignment: Book 1: Ch 2
The critical questions are:
C-1 How has the Internet changed the possibilities for business models?
C-2 Which of the evolving business models do you find most attractive and why?
C-3 Raise and reflect on one or more questions or issues related to the readings that you most like to discuss with the rest of the class.
All students respond to these questions on FirstClass before 8:00 PM on the evening before class.

Module D – Jurisdiction
Moderator/Editor: Sean Greeley
Assignment: Book 1: Ch 8 plus Book 2: Ch 7, 14 &15, Jonathan Zittrain Video at http://littlegreenfootballs.com/page/298188_Be_Careful_What_You_Ask_For_–
The critical questions are:
D-1 Considering all the Jurisdiction readings, what is the approach that the legal system should support for gaining jurisdiction over those who may have harmed you from a distance over the Internet?
D-2 According to Lessig in Chapter 7 of Book 2, what are the core methods for regulating the Internet? Spinello argues that morals should be used additionally to guide and control the net. Are there core ethical principles that are or should be universal and applicable across all jurisdictions?
D-3 Raise and reflect on one or more questions or issues related to the readings that you most like to discuss with the rest of the class.
All students respond to these questions on FirstClass before 8:00 PM on the evening before class

Module E – Intellectual Property Basics (Trademarks and Tradesecrets)
Moderator/Editor: Paul Koroski
Assignment: Book 1: Ch 4 plus Intellectual Property: The Basics, by Caseiro (see FirstClass Course Info folder) Note: Another primer on just U.S. copyright is at http://copyright.columbia.edu/copyright/. If you desire to compare and contrast some intellectual property law basics from other countries, see Australia http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au and Canada http://cipo.ic.gc.ca
The critical questions are:
E-1 Read “Intellectual Property: The Basics” by Chris Caseiro. For another perspective, view the six-minute video on Intellectual Property Explained found at http://www.redhat.com/magazine/007may05/features/ip/ Both briefly explain the primary differences between the protections offered by trademark, copyright, patent and trade secret.
Discuss one or more things you learned or thought was interesting.
E-2 Discuss one of more additional things you learned or thought was interesting from Chapter 4 on Trademark of Book 1.
All students respond to these questions on FirstClass before 8:00 PM on the evening before class

Module F – Copyright
Moderator/Editor: Christopher Mank
Assignment: Book 1: Ch 5 plus Book 2: Ch 10
The critical questions are:
F-1 What ownership assumptions should one make when copying material off of the Internet? Do the assumptions of the law comport with what studies show or what you think are efficient for the economy and the well being of society generally?
F-2 U.S. Fair Use Law: Numerous graphics and photos were used in the comic book book titled Bound by Law? by Aoki, Boyle and Jenkins (2006) found at http://www.law.duke.edu/cspd/comics/digital.php. This material was used without asking permission of authors or publishers of the original works. Is this legal? Why? Is this ethical? Why?
F-3 For some community attempts at defining “fair use” in relation to classes of media see http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/fair-use/best-practices/documentary Are these community attempts at setting standards likely to be considered seriously by the courts?
F-4 Read the Take Down notice example at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_Copyright_Infringement_Liability_Limitation_Act. Does this seem like a reasonable procedure? Why is the recording industry trying to legislate something stronger?
Extras: Copyright Explained in Five Minutes or Less – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-wx6kLFaZ8 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk862BbjWx4
All students respond to these questions on FirstClass before 8:00 PM on the evening before class

Module G – Patents and Trade Secret
Moderator/Editor: Kyle Marrache
Assignment: Book 1: Ch 6 Patents & Ch 7 Trade Secrets
The critical questions are:
G-1 List the five major requirements for patentability and describe the major different types of patents.
G-2 List the essential characteristics of a trade secret.
G-3 Do you think most information technology companies depend more on trade secret or patent law to secure their market  positions? Why?
All students respond to these questions on FirstClass before 8:00 PM on the evening before class

Module H – Public Domain and Related Concepts
Moderator/Editor: Jacob Marsh
Assignment: Book 5: Ch 3, Moglen Maine Talk
The critical questions are:
H-1 What does Boyle mean by the second enclosure movement?
H-2 View the four 8-minute Lessig videos on Free Culture < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWR6eiiBhf8, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDG4O6Vk9E8, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kozx-7tobr4, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fipyzsfX2Hw> (transcript without slides ). What arguments do you find most convincing? Why? Least convincing? Why? (If curious, see also his video titled Open at at http://blip.tv/lessig/episode-3749213 for his changing perspective.)
H-3 Moglen states: “The free sharing of scientific information is the essence of Western science. And without the concept of the free sharing of information …. the advance of knowledge would be either impossible or impossibly burdened.” “If you could feed everyone on earth at the cost of baking one loaf and pressing a button, what would be the moral case for charging more for bread than some people could afford to pay?” Reflect on or respond to these statements in the context of the distribution of digital knowledge works.
All students respond to these questions on FirstClass before 8:00 PM on the evening before class

Module I – Sharing Economies and Peer Production
Moderator/Editor: Blaine Morin
Assignment:  Tragedy of Info Commons plus Book 3: Ch 6 on Commercial and Sharing Economies & Ch 8 on Economy Lessons plus Book 4: Ch 3 on Peer Production and Sharing & Ch 4 on Economies of Social Production
The critical questions are:
I-1 What is meant by “commons” in the context of the Internet? Considering the Tragedy of the Commons article, how can there be a “tragedy” if electronic data and products are not consumed in their use?
I-2 In Book 3, what is your perspective on whether parallel commercial and sharing economies are possible?
I-3 In the Book 4 chapters on peer production and the economics of social production, discuss one of more things you learned or thought was interesting
All students respond to these questions on FirstClass before 8:00 PM on the evening before class

Module J – Value of the Commons in the Context of Science
Moderator/Editor: Caleb Branson
Assignment: Video: What if the Web Really Worked for Science? I & II , Pollock Value of the Public Domain, Nelson, The Market Economy and Scientific Commons
The critical questions are:
J-1 View the video by James Boyle on What if the Web Really Worked for Science? (Note: A question and answer session covers the last quarter of the video which you may skip.). List three key points from his presentation that you think are interesting or important.
J-2 Read the article by Pollock or the article by Nelson. List three key points, ideas or concepts from one of these works that you think are interesting or important.
All students respond to these questions on FirstClass before 8:00 PM on the evening before class

Module K – Freedom of Information in Government Public Records
Moderator/Editor: Ryan Billings
Assignment: Weiss summary or Pluijmers/Weiss Borders in Cyberspace, Read the Introduction, Chapter 1 and the final sections of Borders in Cyberspace. The report arrives at conclusions and recommendations regarding government public access policies. Assess these results and recommendations.
The critical questions are:
K-1 To what extent are the “conclusions” supportable by the evidence? Do they make sense?
K-2 Are the “recommendations” supportable in terms of good public policy? Why?
All students respond to these questions on FirstClass before 8:00 PM on the evening before class

Module L – Access to Government Records
Moderator/Editor: Sean Edwards
Assignment: Ten Ways and GITA Whitepaper
The critical questions are:
L-1 To what extent should the laws governing access to and use of federal agency digital records also apply to state and local government digital records? Why?
All students respond to these questions on FirstClass before 8:00 PM on the evening before class

Module M – Free Speech
Moderator/Editor: David Cass
Assignment: Book 2: Ch 12, view the The Corporation if possible (should be somewhere in entirety on YouTube)
The critical questions are:
M-1 If we allow great deference to free speech on the Internet, what are the best means for controlling bad behavior (e.g. spam, obscene material, defamation, scams)?
M-2 What are the arguments for and against interpreting the bill of rights such that corporations are able to take advantage of constitutional free speech rights?
All students respond to these questions on FirstClass before 8:00 PM on the evening before class

Module N – Free Speech
Moderator/Editor: Sean Greeley
Assignment: ACLU Briefing Paper
The critical questions are:
N-1 From the ACLU Briefing Paper, list three key ideas or points relative to free speech on the Internet that you think are important.
N-2 Briefly discuss your perspectives or reactions to these concepts.
All students respond to these questions on FirstClass before 8:00 PM on the evening before class

Module O – Ethics
Moderator/Editor: Christopher Mank
Assignment: Implementing G I Technologies Ethically
The critical questions are:
O-1 Reflect on differences between legal and ethical conduct within the context of the use and creation of digital data, products and services. Alternatively, provide examples where the two are not synonymous.
All students respond to these questions on FirstClass before 8:00 PM on the evening before class

Module P – Privacy
Moderator/Editor: Paul Koroski
Assignment: Book 1: Ch 12, Book 2: Ch 11, Engaging Privacy & Information Technology: Exec Summary (see First Class folder)
The critical questions are:
P-1 What rights in privacy did you assume or believe you had before reading the material? Did your view change and as to what issue?
P-2 Raise and reflect on one or more questions or issues related to the readings that you most would like to discuss with the rest of the class.
All students respond to these questions on FirstClass before 8:00 PM on the evening before class

Module Q – Cybersecurity
Moderator/Editor: Kyle Marrache
Assignment: Book 1: Ch 13, Mapping the Risks (Rand), Cybersecurity Today and Tomorrow (free download), Info Technology for Counterterrorism (free summary)
The critical questions are:
Q-1 Has the widespread availability of U.S. government records including geographic data made the nation more or less safe? Justify your response.
Q-2 Raise and reflect on one or more questions or issues related to the readings that you most like to discuss with the rest of the class.
All students respond to these questions on FirstClass before 8:00 PM on the evening before class

Module R – Emerging Intellectual Property and Technology Access Issues
Moderator/Editor: Jacob Marsh

Assignment: Read the executive summary, introduction and conclusion of one of the following articles and skim additional portions (all in the FirstClass folder)
1. Next Generation Connectivity: A review of broadband Internet transitions and policy from around the world
2. Inventory and Analysis of Open Source Software Business Models
3. File-Sharing and Copyright
The critical questions are:
R-1 What are the major points made by the article or what are the conclusions arrived at?
R-2 Raise and reflect on one or more questions or issues related to the readings that you most would like to discuss with the rest of the class.
All students respond to these questions on FirstClass before 8:00 PM on the evening before class

Module S – International IP Policy
Moderator/Editor: Blaine Morin
Assignment: Book 1: Ch 14 on International Cyberlaw plus Book 3: Chap 9 & 10 on Reforming Law plus EU Database Directive Debate (Boyle) and Follow-Up, Is Bayh-Dole Good for Developing Countries?
The critical questions are:
S-1 Give some examples from Book 1 Chapter 14 of differences you see between U.S. law and the law of other countries in respect to trademark, copyright, patents, trade secrets, privacy or contracts.
S-2 Which side of the debate in the Financial Times is more convincing? Why?
S-3 Raise and reflect on one or more questions or issues related to the Bayh-Dole reading that you most would like to discuss with the rest of the class.
All students respond to these questions on FirstClass before 8:00 PM on the evening before class

Module T – Developing Nation Perspectives on Information and Communication Technologies
Moderator/Editor: Ryan Billings
Assignment: Integrating IP and Development Policy, ICT: What Works, Online Delivery of Land Titles
The critical questions are:
T-1 Raise and reflect on one or more questions or issues related to the readings that you most would like to discuss with the rest of the class.
All students respond to these questions on FirstClass before 8:00 PM on the evening before class

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