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"Software as Discourse: The Power of Intellectual Property in Digital Architecture"

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Publication Date
  • 180115 Intellectual Property Law
  • Linguistics
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science


Microsoft Word - 13674word.doc QUT Digital Repository: Fitzgerald, Brian F. (2000) "Software as Discourse: The Power of Intellectual Property in Digital Architecture". Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal 18(2):337. © Copyright 2000 Brian F. Fitzgerald Seventh Annual Tenzer Lecture 1999 Software as Discourse: The Power of Intellectual Property in Digital Architecture By Professor Brian Fitzgerald# 18 Cardozo Arts & Ent. L.J. 101 (2000) Abstract As software increasingly facilitates our living the more we are drawn to conceptualise software as discourse. While this may sound trite it is a fundamental point to appreciate. One of the most significant intellectual developments of the latter part of the twentieth century has been the poststructuralist writings of people such as Foucault, Derrida and Baudrillard that have explained the multitude of power relationships we each experience in our daily lives, the indeterminacy of law, the construction of meaning and the role of language, of discourse, to the construction of meaning and identity. These people told us that we live in an environment constructed from many elements – one of the dominant elements being language or discourse which itself contains inherent biases and tendencies. On the back of such philosophy we have seen the development of identity politics a space in which arguments are made for and against the construction of identity through language and other circumstances. In the end these poststructuralists have allowed us to appreciate and conceptualise our circumstantial being. As we are all aware, we are witnessing the exponential growth of a new form of social structure known as the information society. The quintessential element of discourse, of language, of speech, in this information society is (soft)ware. As we know software is now a key part of our social stru

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