About Ethics and the Internet
(last updated 6/21/2007)
Some time ago (circa 2004), several colleagues here at Westmont presented their
ethics and the internet with a primary focus on downloading copyrighted
material. During the presentation, I discovered that I had a deep
interest in the
problems facing social structures as a
result of changing technology. In particular, I was intrigued
with how my faith would shape my approach to such problems and what the
church should be contributing to the conversation. For some time
after that forum, my passion was focussed on intellectual property and
copyright problems. But since then, I've been seeing broader
connections to virtual reality in general and how to socially structure
such realities. Below I've included a few of the
sources that I've been reading lately.
Eventually, I organized a Westmont Faculty Exchange where four of my colleagues and I presented position papers on Creative Work in an Ownership Society (3/20/2006). You may find my position paper here.
On Tues. March 29, 2005 (coincidently the day the oral arguments were
presented to the Supreme Court in the MGM vs. Grokster case), I agreed
to moderate a discussion of Copyright and related issues. I have
a few notes here.
The Gift: Imagination and the erotic life
of property by Lewis Hyde. Here is a review
that is consistent with my take after finishing the book. (The
book was recommended by John Blondell and I highly recommend it to
Hyde's book is responsible for getting me thinking much more (too?)
broadly about things. The following sources are much more
focussed on technology and property, althogh Lessig's work is widely
Copyright in Historical Perspective,
by Lyman Ray Patterson. (1968) This is a detailed history
of copyright in England and the United States.
Culture: How big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture
and control creativity, by Larry
Lessig. I've read several of his essays and started Free Culture. The book has
already provided me with several revelations. It can be read
online or downloaded.
Open Sources: Voices from the open source
revolution, edited by C. DiBona, S. Ockman, and M.
Stone. The book can be read online.
The Cathedral and the Bazaar,
by Eric Raymond. The book can be read online but is not to be
I found this
wonderful site for a course taught by Max Hailperin at Gustavus
Adolphus College, that I would have loved to have taken. There
are a number of excellent links.