Part One: TEXT BOOK -:
Ethics & Technology: Ethical Issues in an Age of Information and Communication Technology (5th ed.)
, Herman T. Tavani (author), John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (publishers)-E&T (2016)
Part One: From the E&T textbook (Chapter 8)
Scenario for Analysis #1
the questions contained in the last paragraph of the scenario:
Length of answer to these questions combined: 2 or more PARAGRAPHS (include citations).
Cyberethics (7th ed.),
Richard Spinello (author), Jones & Bartlett (publishers) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ CE (2021)
Part Two: From the CE textbook
Read Chapter Four: Intellectual Property in Cyberspace
Read Case Study: A Parody of PETA. Answer
the questions following the case.
Length of answers to these questions: 2 or more PARAGRAPHS (include citations).
to your position, she also points out that she is not
able to make any exceptions because of the agree-
ment the university has with the company con-
tracted to verify the authenticity of student papers.
What would you do in this scenario? Based
on the theories of property that we examined in
Chapter 8, what kind of argument would you make
to your professor (and to your university’s admin-
istration, if necessary) that you, and you alone,
should be able to retain ownership (i.e., hold the
copyright) for your paper?
Scenarios for Analysis
1. You are taking a course on the history of comput- has a controversial policy with regard to ownership
ing at your university. One of the requirements for of student papers. Specifically, they claim to own-
the course is a 25-page research paper. Your pro- that is, hold the copyright to-every paper your
fessor for that course is concerned that some stu- professor submits to them, so that those papers can
dents may be purchasing research papers from be included in the company’s proprietary database.
Internet sites, while others may be submitting Thus, all of the students in your class are required
papers that are highly plagiarized. So, your profes- to sign a transfer of copyright form when they sub-
sor decides to use an online plagiarism-detecting mit their research papers. You are very annoyed by
system to have all of the papers submitted in this this, however, because you want to maintain own-
class verified (by being matched against a large ership of your paper. In fact, you plan to use some
repository or database of student papers) for their material in your paper in a section of your senior
originality and authenticity. The company that thesis project. Next, you approach your professor
owns the plagiarism-detecting system, however, about your concern. Although she is sympathetic
A Parody of PETA
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is a nonprofit organization
dedicated to the promotion of animal rights. The group is opposed to eating
meat, wearing fur and leather, and conducting research experiments on
animals. In this case, the domain name www.peta.org was registered by Mr.
Doughney to parody PETA and its views on animals. The webpage was
entitled Ã¢â‚¬Å“People Eating Tasty Animals,” and it included links to sites where
leather goods or meat products were sold. The plaintiff filed suit under the
auspices of the Anticyber squatting Protection Act (ACPA), alleging that the
peta.org domain name was identical to or confusingly similar to the distinctive
and famous PETA mark. Doughney and his lawyers contended that there was
no infringement or dilution, and hence no violation of the ACPA, because his
website was a parody.
A federal district court ruled in favor of PETA, finding Doughney liable for
trademark infringement. The case was promptly appealed, but the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court. It
agreed that the PETA mark was distinctive and that Doughney had no
intellectual property right in peta.org. Moreover, according to the court, there
was no record of any prior use of peta.org, and Doughney used the mark in a
commercial manner. It also agreed that Doughney Ã¢â‚¬Å“clearly intended to
confuse, mislead and divert internet users into accessing his website which
contained information antithetical and therefore harmful to the goodwill
represented by the PETA Mark.”89 Doughney himself Ã¢â‚¬Å“admitted that it was
‘possible’ that some Internet users would be confused when they activated
‘peta.org’ and found the ‘People Eating Tasty Animals’ website.”90 The
appeals court concluded that Doughney acted in bad faith; he made
statements to the press that PETA should attempt to settle with him and
“make him an offer.”
A key issue triggered by this case is whether a good faith intention to criticize
and parody a trademark owner such as PETA should constitute a valid reason
for registering a domain name incorporating that trademark owner’s trademark
(peta.org). Or does that domain name require some sort of appendage or
distinguishing variation such as Ã¢â‚¬Å“petasucks.comÃ¢â‚¬Â so that there will be no
1. Do you agree with the court’s decision in this case? If so, what about Mr.
Doughney’s free speech rights?
2. In your view, why did the court reject Doughney’s parody defense?
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