ASU East

Intellectual Property and Copyright in the Electronic Age
Multimedia Writing and Technical Communication
Fall 2008

Barbara J. D'Angelo, Ph.D.
Multimedia Writing & Technical Communication
Sutton 301P
Phone: 480-727-1160
Yahoo IM ID: barb_dangelo

or by chat

Office Hours:

Mondays 9:00-11:00
Thursdays: 1:00-3:00
or by appointment

or by chat


Course Description and Outcomes

This course will explore intellectual property and copyright, their history and origin, the laws created to protect them, and their impact. Although current trends and issues in copyright may be the most interesting topic to some of you, it is my belief that you cannot have a real or solid understanding of the issues without first understanding the history of copyright and how it works in the traditional print world. Current laws have evolved directly out of print copyright law and attempt to apply the principles of IP and copyright to electronic information. Without understanding the original intent and principles of copyright, perceptions of and interpretation of newer laws will be flawed and potentially misleading. It is also important to understand that copyright is just one aspect of intellectual property: licensing, patents, trademarks are all part of the intellectual property system. And while our focus may be on the United States, it is important to remember that intellectual property is viewed and governed very differently in other parts of the world. IIP and copyright are inevitably linked to social and cultural perceptions about the ownership and sharing of information and about changing perspectives about the economic value of information. In the context of this course I am using the word information very broadly to include text (print and electronic), audio, video, images, etc.


Outcomes articulate the skills, abilities, and knowledge that students learn in the MWTC Program. If you are a TWC major, you will present examples of your work from the courses you have taken in your capstone portfolio to demonstrate your learning based on these outcomes. As you are taking courses, an understanding of the outcomes will help you in two ways: 1) it will help you understand how the various courses tie together and integrate work and experiences as part of a larger context and 2) it will help identify and select coursework that meets specific outcomes. In this course, the outcomes that are specifically addressed include:

Rhetorical Knowledge:

R1: Understand the role of a variety of technologies/media in accessing, retrieving, and communicating information

Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing

CRW1: Use information, writing, and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating

CRW2: Understand the relationships among language, knowledge, and power including social, cultural, historical, and economic issues related to information, writing, and technology

CRW3: Recognize, understand, and analyze the context within which language, information, and knowledge are produced, managed, organized, and disseminated

CRW4: Integrate previously held beliefs, assumptions, and knowledge with new information and the ideas of others to accomplish a specific purpose within a context

Knowledge of Conventions:

KC1: Learn and apply appropriate standards, laws, policies, and accepted practices for the use of a variety of technologies

KC2: Apply appropriate means of documenting their work

KC3: Understand and apply legal and ethical uses of information and technology including copyright and intellectual property

To meet these outcomes, on completion of this course, students will be able to:

Course Requirements

This is an online course. If you have never taken an online course, you may want to take the Online Learning Readiness Quiz to see if it's right for you. All assignments are to be completed on time. See course evaluation section below for information on grading and Blackboard for information on assignments and due dates. Readings and assignments are also posted on the Schedule.

Graduate Students: Students registered for graduate credit (TWC551) will complete an additional assignment.

Texts and Required Readings

Aoki, Keith; Boyle James; Jenkins, Jennifer. (2006) Bound by Law? Duke Center for the Study of the Public Domain. Digital versions available at no cost at: or purchase through Amazon for $5.95.

Burgunder, Lee (2004) Legal Aspects of Managing Technology, 4th edition. Mason, OH: West Legal Studies in Business.

Course Evaluation

+/- grades will not be used in this course

Details on readings and assignments are posted in the Schedule. This is a content-heavy course with a significant amount of difficult reading. Each week there will be a short quiz based on the readings. You will also participate in class discussion via the Discussion Board and complete 4 case studies applying principles and concepts of copyright and intellectual property.

Assignment Value
Confirmation email 5 pts
Weekly quizzes (9 @ 5 pts each) 45 pts

Discussion board posts (15 weeks @ 4 pts each)

60 pts
Case studies (4 @ 10 pts each) 40 pts

Final exam

25 pts

Scale Grade
158 - 175 points A
140 - 157 points B
123 - 139 points C
105 - 122 points D
0 - 104 points E

Graduate Students (TWC551):

Assignment Value
Confirmation email 5 pts
Weekly quizzes (9 @ 5 pts each) 45 pts

Discussion board posts (15 weeks @ 2 pts each)

60 pts

Case studies (4 @ 10 pts each)

40 pts

Final exam

25 pts
Graduate assignment 45 pts

Scale Grade
198 - 220 pts   A
176 - 197 pts   B
154 - 175 pts   C
105 - 153 pts D
0 - 104 pts E

Academic Integrity

As a student in this course you are expected to complete your own work and to write your own assignments. The use of all sources should be properly cited and documented.

You are responsible for reading and understanding your rights, responsibilities and obligations under ASU’s Student Academic Integrity Policy (

Additional information on plagiarism can be found on the Council for Writing Program Administrators’ statement on best practices for defining and avoiding plagiarism (

If you have any questions about how or when to cite sources in your assignments, please contact me or consult with a tutor in the ASU Student Success Center.

Students with Special Needs

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal antidiscrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. One element of this legislation requires that all qualified students with documented disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation please contact the Disability Resource Center at ASU Polytechnic located in Student Affairs Quad # 4 or call 480-727-1039 / TTY: 480-727-1009.  Eligibility and documentation policies online:

Last modified: 19 August 2008