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LAC Group Research Analyst contributes to book

On Intellectual Property Ethics for Foundations of Information Ethics

Kat HendersonLAC Group Research Analyst Kathrine Henderson has contributed a chapter on Intellectual Property Ethics for Foundations of Information Ethics.  This volume, published by the American Library Association, is a primer on information ethics which serves double-duty as a working casebook. The content is designed to be a key text for Library and Information Science students as well as an essential reference for practitioners.

Edited by John Burgess, Emily Knox, with forward by Robert Hauptman, Foundations of Information Ethics is organized into twelve chapters, each thoroughly covering principles and concepts in information ethics along with relevant history.  Topics include human rights, information access, privacy, discourse, intellectual property, censorship, data and cybersecurity ethics, intercultural information ethics, and global digital citizenship and responsibility.

According to Burgess,

“We chose Kathrine because she is widely recognized in the information ethics community as an expert in intellectual property ethics. Many of us who teach information ethics rely on the book she co-authored with Elizabeth A. Buchanan, Case Studies in Library and Information Science Ethics to present real world examples of ethical dilemmas to our students. Her contribution to this present volume provides a strong historical foundation for intellectual property law, as well as establishing an effective summary of current issues in the ethical implementation of these laws. These elements are essential for any researcher or practitioner who seeks a deeper understanding of the complex role intellectual property plays in our economy and society.

Kathrine’s chapter covers Copyright, Patent, Trademark and Trade Secrets law. The chapter defines key concepts, utilizes primary sources, and her case study is based on a famous copyright infringement case. You’ll have to read her chapter to find out which one. In addition to the challenge of covering such a large topic in just a few pages, she says of this project,

“I focused on intellectual property laws and how they protect creators. Both copyright and patent laws are on based on private property justifications and perhaps most importantly from an ethical point of view were enshrined in the Constitution because as country we have always thought intellectual property was necessary to ensure an enlightened society.  More recent laws such trademark and trade secrets focus more generally on protecting consumers and commerce and contribute in their own ways to a well-functioning society. Although I touched on these private property underpinnings, I chose a more modern philosophy promulgated by John Rawls to introduce the reader to ways by which they may determine whether or not these laws are fair in their application.”

For more information about this forthcoming text, see www.alastore.ala.org/content/foundations-information-ethics.

As part of the LAC Group virtual research team, Kathrine has worked on a broad range of research and reference topics for law firms and corporations. Her subject matter expertise includes copyright and other intellectual property (IP) topics as well as information ethics. Kathrine holds an MLIS from the University of Wisconsin’s School of Information Studies and was recognized as a distinguished alumnus as part of the school’s 50th Anniversary.

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