"So it seems, then, that the teacher and most of the class assumed
that traditional rules of property/ownership were operating during the
The operative here is "assume." I guess I don't think the student
broke any rules. Again, the assignment was to show he knew the code
involved in linking one cite to another. He demonstrated that. To me
what he linked to is irrelevant. He creatively solved a problem. He
did not steal the ideas of others. He cited them as sources because
the browser shows where the links are before you jump and once you are
there. And he recombined what they had done into a new solution. Like
you take wheels, an engine, and some steel and make a car. Are you
using the ideas of others? Sure. Did you cheat? I don't think so.
"That leaves us with at least two questions. Do the actions of the
student who linked his or her peers links truely expand/modify the
concepts of ownership?"
The goal or assignment was only to show he knew how to link, not
generate a new way of thinking or original thought about anything.
"If yes, then is that the kind of expansion/modification we mean when
we speak of changing the "rules"?"
No I don't think it is. He met the assignment. When I say changing
the rules, I mean that new technologies will result in us rethinking
what it means to cheat. Or be creative.