Technical Writing Jumping the Wall: How Technical Documentation/Writing Can Affect the Court's Evaluation of Intent to Infringe in P2p Contexts

37 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2006

Date Written: April 15, 2006

Abstract

What kind of textual evidence do courts now look at in light of the recent Grokster decision? What place does technical communication have in recent P2P court decisions? After examining the evidence courts have used from the Sony case to the Grokster case, the author argues that since texts generated and researched by technical communication have surfaced in P2P contexts as important evidentiary objects in court rulings (Napster, Aimster, Grokster), the field and its allies would do well to take notice. Using a lens of activity theory, the author argues that technical communication as a field can control its own future and ability to innovate by reseeing the texts that it creates, texts that are collected by courts as objects influencing determinations of the presence of intent to infringe (the current standard of liability in P2P contexts). With respect to legal liability, the best technical writing might be writing that stays invisible.

Keywords: technical writing, activity theory, secondary liability, P2P, user friendly

Suggested Citation

Rife, Martine Courant, Technical Writing Jumping the Wall: How Technical Documentation/Writing Can Affect the Court's Evaluation of Intent to Infringe in P2p Contexts (April 15, 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=897083 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.897083

Martine Courant Rife (Contact Author)

Lansing Community College ( email )

211G Arts & Sciences
Lansing, MI 48901
United States
517/4839906 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.msu.edu/~courantm

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