Intellectual Property

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More on Slicing and Dicing

I hiss in Cincinatti's general direction:

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that rap artists should pay for every musical sample included in their work — even minor, unrecognizable snippets of music.

Lower courts had already ruled that artists must pay when they sample another artists' [sic] work. But it has been legal to use musical snippets — a note here, a chord there — as long as it wasn't identifiable.

The decision by a three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati gets rid of that distinction. The court said federal laws aimed at stopping piracy of recordings applies to digital sampling.

"If you cannot pirate the whole sound recording, can you 'lift' or 'sample' something less than the whole? Our answer to that question is in the negative," the court said.

"Get a license or do not sample. We do not see this as stifling creativity in any significant way."

To quote Lawrence Lessig quoting Justice William Douglas in the introduction to Free Culture, "Common sense revolts at the idea." "[M]inor, unrecognizable snippets of music" are now potentially proprietary? There goes new blues and jazz, I guess. It doesn't stifle creativity in a significant way? Please. We need Creative Commons more than ever, sigh. On a related note, the latest sample-using song that's making me smile and turn up the volume is "Let's Go" by Trick Daddy, Lil Jon, and Twista. You might have heard it; it features Ozzy Osbourne's "Aiii, aiii, aiii" and other bits from "Crazy Train." :) The song inspired me to put in my Black Sabbath Paranoid CD, and as soon as I heard the beginning of "Planet Caravan," I was instantly transported back to a long-ago Pantera show, the Far Beyond Driven tour, circa 1995, Nashville, Tennessee.

Tangential but related nonetheless: anyone heard George W. Bush's version of "Sunday Bloody Sunday"? ;)

Reenacted By Bunnies

On, you can see several famous films abridged to 30-second animated clips featuring bunnies: The Exorcist, The Shining, Titanic, and Alien. I wonder if they've gotten any cease-and-desist letters yet for these unlawful derivative works? :)


Clancy Ratliff

221 Griffin Hall | P.O. Box 44691 | Department of English, University of Louisiana at Lafayette | Lafayette, LA 70504

Academic Employment

Assistant Professor and Director of First-Year Writing, Department of English, University of Louisiana at Lafayette: August 2007-present.

Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition, Department of English, East Carolina University: August 2006-May 2007.

Graduate Instructor, University of Minnesota: August 2002-May 2006.

Instructor, Roane State Community College: January 2002-May 2002.

Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Tennessee: August 1999-May 2001.


Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication, Minor in Feminist Studies, University of Minnesota, September 2006.
Dissertation: "Where Are the Women?" Rhetoric and Gender in Weblog Discourse. Committee: Mary Lay Schuster (Chair), Laura J. Gurak, Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch, Joanna O'Connell, Geoffrey Sirc.

M.A. in English, Technical Communication emphasis, University of Tennessee, 2001.
Thesis: "I Cannot Read This Story Without Rewriting It": Haraway, Cyborg Writing, and Burkean Form.

B.A. in English, Minor in Photography, University of North Alabama, 1997.

Areas of Specialization

Composition Studies, Writing Program Administration, Feminist Rhetorics, Writing Technologies, Modern Rhetorical Theory, Technical Communication, Research Methodologies, Intellectual Property / Authorship

Articles and Book Chapters

Ratliff, C. (2009). Policing miscarriage: Infertility blogging, rhetorical enclaves, and the case of House Bill 1677. WSQ: Women's Studies Quarterly, 37, 125-145.

Ratliff, C. (2009). Some rights reserved: Weblogs with Creative Commons licenses. In Westbrook, S. (Ed.), Composition, Copyright, and Intellectual Property Law (pp. 50-67). New York: SUNY Press.

Ratliff, C. (2007). Attracting readers: Sex and audience in the blogosphere. Scholar & Feminist Online, 5.2.

Ratliff, C. (2004). Between work and play: Blogging and community knowledge-making. Lore: An e-journal for teachers of writing. Available at

Encyclopedia Articles

Ratliff, C. (2006). Feminist standpoint theory. In Trauth, E.M. (Ed.), The encyclopedia of gender and information technology (pp. 335-340). Hershey, PA: Information Science Publishing.

Ratliff, C. (2006). Postmodern feminism. In Trauth, E.M. (Ed.), The encyclopedia of gender and information technology (pp. 1018-1022). Hershey, PA: Information Science Publishing.

Ratliff, C. (2005). Essentialism. In Heywood, L.L. (Ed.), The women's movement today: An encyclopedia of third wave feminism (pp. 122-123). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Ratliff, C. (2005). Performativity. In Heywood, L.L. (Ed.), The women's movement today: An encyclopedia of third wave feminism (pp. 240-242). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Edited Collections

In Progress: The CCCC-IP Annual: Top Intellectual Property Developments of 2009, online collection of essays for the CCCC Intellectual Property Caucus, publication 2010.

The CCCC-IP Annual: Top Intellectual Property Developments of 2008, online collection of essays for the CCCC Intellectual Property Caucus, 2009. Edited the collection and wrote one article, "Open Access in 2008: The Harvard Policy and the APA's Attempt to Profit from the NIH Open Access Mandate." Available at

The CCCC-IP Annual: Top Intellectual Property Developments of 2007, online collection of essays for the CCCC Intellectual Property Caucus, 2008. Edited the collection and wrote one article, "The National Institutes of Health Open Access Mandate: Public Access for Public Funding." Available at

Gurak, L.J., Antonijevic, S., Johnson, L., Ratliff, C., & Reyman, J. (Eds.). (2004). Into the blogosphere: Rhetoric, community, and culture of weblogs. Available at Reviewed in Computers and Composition Online, Fall 2004.

Book Reviews

In Progress: Review of Technological ecologies & sustainability, eds. Dànielle Nicole DeVoss, Heidi A. McKee, and Richard (Dickie) Selfe. Computers and Composition Digital Press.

In Progress: Review of Webbing Cyberfeminist Practice: Communities, Pedagogies, and Social Action, eds. Kristine Blair, Radhika Gajjala, Christine Tulley. Hampton Press.

In Press: Review of Women's Ways of Making It in Rhetoric and Composition, by Michelle Ballif, Diane Davis, and Roxanne Mountford. JAC: Rhetoric, Writing, Culture, Politics, fall 2008 issue.

In Press: Review of The Rhetoric of Intellectual Property: Copyright Law and the Regulation of Digital Culture, by Jessica Reyman. Computers and Composition, fall 2010 issue.

Scholarships and Awards

Hugh Burns Best Dissertation Award, Computers and Composition, May 2007.

John Lovas Memorial Academic Weblog Award, Kairos, May 2006.

Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, University of Minnesota, May 2005 (university-wide).

Scholarship, Internet Law Program, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA. May 13-15, 2004.

J. Paul Blakely Award of Excellence, Society for Technical Communication, East Tennessee Chapter, March 2001.

Administrative Experience

Director of First-Year Writing, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, August 2007-present. Duties include:

  • Supervise approximately 60 teachers in a program that serves roughly 4000 students per semester and includes basic writing and honors writing courses
  • Calibrate placement and transfer credit cases for students based on test scores and writing samples
  • Assess the curriculum (textbooks, outcomes, student writing in the aggregate) continually
  • Assist the Writing Center Director with administrative matters
  • Arrange, promote, and facilitate faculty development workshops
  • Review syllabi for first-year writing courses
  • Participate in professional development and curriculum alignment workshops at local high schools
  • Serve as judge for the Ann Dobie Outstanding Freshman Essay Award and the Outstanding New Teacher Award each year
  • Advise teachers and students regarding attendance problems, plagiarism cases, and grade appeals


Clancy Ratliff: Blogger, Scholar...Blogger Scholar: An Interview by Meredith Graupner (Bowling Green State University and Christine Denecker (University of Findlay). Computers and Composition Online, Spring 2008.

Blogs About Business Travel Begin to Feel the Power by Christopher Elliott, The New York Times, September 18, 2006.

Blog this: Posting views for all to see is not new by Thana Dharmaraah, Guelph Mercury, June 2, 2006.

Not just personal use anymore: U courses tap into blogging by Marni Ginther, The Minnesota Daily, February 17, 2006.

Broads on Blogs: An increasingly popular political forum is attracting women with something to say, but is the blogosphere still a man's world? by Stephanie Schorow, SadieMag, November 2005.

Outlook: What's next for blogging? In Bruns, A., & Jacobs, J. (Eds.), Uses of Blogs. Forthcoming from Peter Lang Publishing. Original questions and answers posted July 24, 2005.

Into the blogosphere: Women find a voice and a community on Internet blogs by Taylor Eisenman, Minnesota Women's Press, April 5, 2005.

It's almost as good as being there by Kathy Boccella, Philadelphia Inquirer, November 8, 2004. Also ran in the Chicago Tribune, December 5, 2004.

Stop press: little Timmy ate his lunch by Lucy Atkins, The Guardian, September 29, 2004. Also ran in The Hindu, September 30, 2004.

Outlet for parents — fun for the masses by Molly Millett, St. Paul Pioneer Press, July 14, 2004. Also ran in the Austin American Statesman, October 26, 2004; the Seattle Times, September 19, 2004; and the Arizona Central, September 4, 2004.

Blogging communities’ popularity draws students by Patricia Drey, The Minnesota Daily, March 26, 2003.

Courses Taught

University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA, August 2007-present.

  • English 102, Writing and Research about Culture
  • English 293, Writing Center Tutoring
  • English 457, Classical Rhetoric
  • English 501, Teaching College English
  • English 509, Teaching College English Practicum

East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, August 2006-May 2007.

  • English 1100, Composition I (two sections, one honors)
  • English 3030, Introduction to Rhetorical Studies
  • English 3810, Advanced Composition
  • English 7765, Special Studies Seminar: Research Ethics for a Complex World

University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, August 2002-May 2006.

  • Rhetoric 1101: Writing to Inform, Convince, and Persuade (five sections)
  • Rhetoric 1223: Oral Presentations in Professional Settings (four sections)
  • Rhetoric 3266: Group Process, Team Building, and Leadership (one section)
  • Rhetoric 3562W: Technical and Professional Writing (two sections)

Roane State Community College, La Follette, TN, January 2002-May 2002.

  • English 1010: Composition I (one section)

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, August 1999-May 2001.

  • English 101: English Composition I (two sections)
  • English 102: English Composition II (two sections)
  • Interdisciplinary Studies 493: Technical Writing Module, Ronald McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program (one section)

Dissertation and Thesis Committee Work

Chair, Dissertation: Thomas Reynolds, Wiki Readers Wiki Writers (in progress)
Chair, Dissertation: Kate Lane, Taking Sex Out of the Bedroom: Re-Visioning Ourselves through Sex and the City (defended October 16, 2009)
Chair, Master's Thesis: Shay Frith, Truthiness and Wikiality: A Comparison of Plato to Stephen Colbert in Criticizing Modern and/or Ancient Sophists

Conference Presentations, National

“'Public Access for Public Funding': Copyright, Taxpayer Funding, and Open Access Scholarship.” Conference on College Composition and Communication, Louisville, KY, scheduled March 2010.

“How Suffragist Rhetoric Resembles Blogosphere Rhetoric.” Conference on College Composition and Communication, San Francisco, CA, March 11, 2009.

“What Can Composition Learn from Political Blogging? Tapping into the Agora.” Conference on College Composition and Communication, New Orleans, LA, April 4, 2008.

“Bumper Cars and Bloodsports: The Political Blogosphere and the Writing Classroom.” Feminisms and Rhetorics, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR. October 5, 2007.

“Peer-to-Peer Review, Metadata, and Distant Reading: Introducing MediaCommons, a New Scholarly Network.” Computers and Writing, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. May 18, 2007.

“Digital Writing Research(ers): Institutional Review Boards: Mapping the Issues for Organizational Position Statements.” (Roundtable). Computers and Writing, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. May 18, 2007.

“Negotiating and Regulating Plagiarism in Everyday Blogging Practices.” Conference on College Composition and Communication, New York, NY. March 2007.

"Coalition-Building on Weblogs: Negotiating Innovation and Access in Writing Pedagogy." Conference on College Composition and Communication, Chicago, IL. March 2006.

"Carnival in the Commons: New Directions and Old Challenges for Online Scholarly Publishing." Modern Language Association Annual Convention, Washington, D.C. December 2005.

"'The Parental Is Political': Gender, Punditry, and Weblogs." Conference on College Composition and Communication, San Francisco, CA. March 16, 2005.

Chair, "Owning Knowledge: New Intersections of Intellectual Property, Technology, and Academia." Conference on College Composition and Communication, San Francisco, CA. March 2005.

"Whose Voices Get Heard? Gender Politics in the Blogosphere." Conference on College Composition and Communication, San Antonio, TX. March 26, 2004. Available at

"Women Born Women Only: The Dialogue Between the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival and Camp Trans." Feminism(s) and Rhetoric(s), The Ohio State University, October 23, 2003.

"Sites of Resistance: Weblogs and Creative Commons Licenses." Association of Internet Researchers, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 18, 2003. Available at

"Blogging as Social Action: The Weblog as Genre." Computers and Writing, Purdue University, May 23, 2003

"Kairosnews: A Weblog for the Computers and Writing Community." Computers and Writing, Purdue University, May 24, 2003.

"Looking to Lorde and Daly: When It's Not Okay to Be Silent in Feminist Rhetorical Theory." Conference on College Composition and Communication, New York, New York, March 20, 2003.

"Kairosnews: A Weblog for the Rhetoric Community." Conference on College Composition and Communication, New York, New York, March 21, 2003.

"The Populist Cyborg: Resituating Haraway in Activism." Humanities and Technology Association, Terre Haute, Indiana, October 25, 2002.

"What is Form to a Cyborg? Burkean Form for a Postmodern Audience." Conference on College Composition and Communication, Chicago, Illinois, March 23, 2002.

Conference Presentations, Regional

“Open Source Software and the Digital Divide: Revisiting the Issue of Access in Computers and Composition Studies.” Louisiana Association of College Composition, Monroe, LA. November 2009.

“'No More Than a Year': Isocrates and the Assessment of First-Year Writing.” Louisiana Association of College Composition, Alexandria, LA. November 15, 2008.

“Opportunities for Teaching Civic Literacy in Louisiana.” Louisiana Association of College Composition, New Orleans, LA. November 17, 2007.

“Attracting Readers: Sex and Audience in the Blogosphere.” South Atlantic Modern Language Association, Charlotte, NC. November 11, 2006.

"Gender, Punditry, and Weblogs: A Feminist Rhetorical Analysis of Blogging’s Challenge to Current Understandings of Political Discourse." New Research for New Media: Innovative Research Methodologies Symposium. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. September 15-16, 2005.

"Blogging to Learn: Engaging Students, Building Community." Academy of Distinguished Teachers Conference, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. April 25, 2005.

"Blogging and the Mainstream Media." Society of Professional Journalists' Region 6 Conference, Bloomington, MN. April 2, 2005.

"Making the Adjunct Visible: Normativity in Academia and Subversive Heteroglossia in the Invisible Adjunct Weblog Community." Great Plains Alliance for Computers and Writing Conference, North Dakota State University. April 24, 2004. Available at

Invited Presentations/Workshops

"Using Podcasting Software to Comment on Student Writing.” Teaching with Technology 2006: A Think-In of Best Practices, East Carolina University Academic Outreach, November 9, 2006.

“Increasing Students’ Sense of Ownership and Participation in a Course Weblog.” (Co-presented with Jonathan Goodwin.) Teaching with Technology 2006: A Think-In of Best Practices, East Carolina University Academic Outreach, November 9, 2006.

Next/Text Meeting for Rhetoric, Composition, and the Digital Textbook. The Institute for the Future of the Book, Annenberg Center at the University of Southern California. April 26, 2006.

“Uses of Blogging and Social Bookmarking in the Classroom.” Web 2.0: Promoting Collaboration and Student-Centered Learning. Technology-Enhanced Learning Seminar Series, University of Minnesota Digital Media Center. April 5, 2006.

“Using Weblogs as Project Management Tools, Sounding Boards, or Everyday Journals.” Writing for the Web, University of Minnesota Compleat Scholar Program, College of Continuing Education. February 13, 2006.

“Weblogs in Writing Pedagogy: Learning Objectives, Questions, and Issues.” Assigning Blogs. Spring 2006 Workshop Series, University of Minnesota Center for Writing. February 2, 2006.

“Live-Action Progymnasmata! Or, Using Weblogs in Writing Courses: Pedagogical Windfalls, Practical Advice, and Tips for Using UThink.” University of Minnesota Department of Rhetoric Instructor Orientation. August 31, 2005.

"Weblogs and Wikis in Teaching." With Krista Kennedy. University of Minnesota Digital Media Center Faculty Fellowship Program, February 10, 2005 and November 16, 2005.

“Into the Blogosphere: New Models of Research and Publication with Blogs.” With Laura Gurak, Smiljana Antonijevic, Laurie Johnson, Krista Kennedy, and Jessica Reyman. University of Minnesota Center for Advanced Feminist Studies Colloquium Series, November 29, 2004.

"Weblogs in Education and Training." Communication 385, Media Relations, Metropolitan State University. Instructor: Victoria Sadler. November 1, 2004.

"Online Writing / Writing Online: A Workshop for Instructors Who Assign Writing." Fall 2004 Workshop Series, University of Minnesota Center for Writing. October 29, 2004.

"Gender and Weblogs." Women's Studies 3306, Pop Culture Women, University of Minnesota. Instructor: Tiffany Muller. July 20, 2004.

Service (Profession)

Member, Editorial Board, Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing

Member, Editorial Board, MediaCommons: A Digital Scholarly Network

Member, CCCC Intellectual Property Caucus, 2003-present. Co-chair during academic year 2007-2008 and 2008-2009.

Peer Reviewer, Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference 2009

Social Software Special Interest Group, Conference on College Composition and Communication, New York, NY, March 2007.

Open Source Software Special Interest Group, Conference on College Composition and Communication, New York, NY, March 2007.

Co-Chair, Blogging Special Interest Group, Conference on College Composition and Communication, Chicago, IL, March 2006. Participant in SIG for CCCC 2005.

Organizing Committee, Computers and Writing Online 2005.

Peer Reviewer, Computers and Writing 2007: Virtual Urbanism. Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.

Peer Reviewer, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

Peer Reviewer, NWSA Journal

Peer Reviewer, New Media and Society

Peer Reviewer, Sex Roles: A Journal of Research

Site Administrator, Computers and Writing Conference Weblog

Founder and Associate Editor, Kairosnews: A Weblog for Discussing Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy.

Feminist Rhetoric Field Editor, A Portal of Sites Relevant to the Field of Rhetoric and Composition.

Service (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)

Global Competency Rapid Action Team for University General Education Assessment

Admission by Exception Committee

Chair, First-Year Writing Committee

Women’s Studies Committee

Personnel Committee, (2-year term 2007-2008, 2008-2009)

Graduate Admissions Committee

Placement Committee

Graduate Course Offerings Committee (2-year term 2009-2010, 2010-2011)

Continuing Assistantships Committee

Awards Committee

Chair, Search committee, Instructor position (academic year 2007-2008)

Chair, Search committee, Writing Center Director position (academic year 2008-2009)

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Lil' Flip

I know I talked about sampling recently, but I have to bring it up one more time for Lil' Flip. Today I was in the car and heard this hip hop song using samples from Pac-Man, and it made my ears very happy, so I blasted it. The song is called "Game Over," and you can watch the video here. If I remember correctly, it uses the basic sound Pac-Man makes when he eats regular pellets (not power pellets), and I believe I caught the noise of ghosts' eating Pac-Man too.


Being an advocate of free culture generally, I support what Larry Lessig has called the "slicing and dicing" of culture--pastiche, sampling, etc. That being said, sometimes I'm not too impressed with the product of such practices.

For example, I hate the song "Through the Wire" by Kanye West, which uses a sample from Chaka Khan's "Through the Fire." Perhaps it's because I enjoy Chaka Khan's music so much that I'd almost place her in the holy trinity of Joni Mitchell, Sade, and Diana Krall, but then it wouldn't be a trinity anymore. Or maybe it's because, in "Through the Wire," they speed up the song so that it sounds like the Chipmunks! What were they thinking? When I'm in the car, I mostly keep my radio on B-96, but when that song comes on, I'm all over the dial.

I also dislike Mase's "Welcome Back", which uses the theme song from Welcome Back, Kotter. The original song was lackluster, and so is this.

But, when I hear "Got It Twisted" by Mobb Deep, I turn the volume up as high as it will go and then car-dance. It uses a s-l-o-w-e-d d-o-w-n sample of Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me With Science," and it is sick. You can listen to part of the song on the article I linked.

So much work...

I'm slammed! I have to grade papers, do more studying for prelims, and a host of other stuff, including another entry in the Encyclopedia of Third Wave Feminism, this time on essentialism. I'll post drafts of these entries and solicit feedback as soon as I receive the guidelines on how they are to be written.

Today I found out that NCTE is supporting the Pathways for All Students to Succeed (PASS) Act and the Graduation for All Act. Both acts center on improving literacy among adolescents. I would have quoted some sections of the letters, but NCTE has specified in the Document Properties of Acrobat Reader: "Content copying or extraction: Not allowed." Great. Yeah, I could type out what I want to quote, but it's the principle. The acts seem like a good idea, but I'd have to learn more about exactly how they'd work before endorsing them myself. All I know now is that PASS would provide grants for promoting literacy and would place "literacy counselors" in schools to work with teachers and with students who at risk of dropping out of school. "Academic counselors" would work with students and parents. The Graduation for All Act is basically the same, except it would target the schools with the lowest graduation rates.

Recordings of Beat Poets

Via the Creative Commons Weblog, the Naropa Collection:

Thanks to the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics from Naropa University,
you can hear hundreds of hours of lectures and readings by Burroughs,
Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, Amiri Baraka and others all of which have been
posted to the Archive as part of the Naropa Collection. As of this writing there are 147 (!) uploads to the stunning collection.

What a treasure for the public, free for download under an Attribution-No Derivative Works-Noncommercial Use Creative Commons license.

Random Musings

I had a strange dream the other night, which I describe at Jenny's since she posted about a dream too.

Started knitting a hat last night for a friend. It's dark blue merino chunky wool yarn, in seed stitch. I can't send it to him until September, but I think he'll like it when he gets it. I put a little piece of the yarn in my most recent letter to him.

I wonder how much money it's costing the University of Minnesota to run UThink on Movable Type. With UThink, every student at the university is able to have as many blogs as he or she likes--one for each class he or she is taking, and a few personal ones too. There are nearly 50,000 students on the Twin Cities campus, and I wasn't able to find an exact number for the faculty. That's a lot of blogs...

Update: I meant to say in this post that I can't wait for Ginmar to get back home. I want to have a big party for her. Well, at least a "let's see how big a party I can have in a 464-square-foot studio" party. :)

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