Courses > 2020 Fall



ENGL 142
401 | SEM | Peter Decherney, Kenneth Goldsmith | R 1:30-4:30pm | ONL

This course examines the impact of copyright law on artists and creative industries. Looking at publishing, music, film, and software, we will ask how the law drives the adoption of new media, and we will consider how regulation influences artistic decisions. A mix of the theoretical with the practical, this course will be using UbuWeb (the largest and oldest site dedicated to the free distribution of the avant-garde) as our main case study. The course will cover both the history of copyright law and current debates, legislation, and cases. We will also follow major copyright stories in the news. Readings cover such diverse topics as the player piano, Disney films, YouTube, video game consuls, hip hop, the Grateful Dead, file sharing, The Catcher in the Rye, and many more. We will also examine the critical role of "shadow libraries" (free culture hubs) in regards how the cultural artifact is produced and distributed in the digital age, alongside today’s gatekeepers of algorithmic culture, such as Netflix, Amazon, and Spotify.