Dissertation, Copyright, Originality, and Intellectual Property Rights

Talked to Proquest and U.S. Copyright Office at Washington D.C.

Clarified that if violations occur down the road, I have to hire a copyright lawyer.

The idea is not copyrighted, but the expressions are.

Called the Copyright Office because the other day found someone wrote about how his entire dissertation has been copyed, word for word, by another person who got an academic job. The discoverer sent his entire dissertation to the second. HE thought the other would reference his work. When he checked he found it was not referenced, but copied word for word and the academic thief got a job in academia.

He managed to remove that person from his job. But the college asked the original author to “keep quiet” about the thing. The college wants to “keep face.”

When I was almost finished mine, my supervising professor asked me to send 200 pages of my dissertation to a young faculty member he brought onto the committee. Suddenly the young faculty member went to a new college in New Jersey, even severing his tenure contract with Purdue. I sent him the three chapters on Su Qing, Zhang Jie, and Wang Anyi one night. The following morning the young faculty sent an email saying it was not logical that he remained on the committee. I immediately suspected dissertation theft. I frantically alerted my supervising Professor, who happens to be a lawyer, to go and get back my 200 pages, which is almost final and enough to stand as a dissertation in itself.

While my supervising professor was enjoying all the honeyed talk of some students, others are eyeing the crown on his head. With his head in the nine clouds, he had been falsely persecuted me because the honey-talking students slandered me in any way possible behind my back.

Maybe there was a lawsuit. But I am not relying on anybody else. I do not care who are involved in the dissertation theft. I am not holding anybody innocent unless they prove themselves. I know all the Chinese students are trying their best to lay their dirty hands on my chapters.

I called Proquest and filed “copyright registration.” I also called U.S. Copyright Office to clear up I am the author and the dissertation is copyrighted under my name, that it is not “work made for hire.” The information specialist explained an employee for Disney designing a cartoon, which can be classified as “work for hire,” for that is the nature of his job, and the nature why the employee was hired in the first place. As a result, the company owns the copyright of the cartoon. Disney’s copyright earnings on its trademark numbers in billions of dollars per year, I guess.

I have to protect my academic brand name. My less creative classmates, especially during my phd study, routinely takes my creations from me and pretends the work to be theirs, including my conference proposals to a Harvard convention in spring 2009.

When it was time to pick a topic for the dissertation, my leading professor first suggested I write on Asian American Women Writers. Maybe he felt it might land me a job. Maybe he himself was interested in the topic and wanted something done on it. He is a man of wide interests.

I went ahead and conducted research and reported to him there was not much original work to be done on it. All the materials are relatively shallow. I even located a book focusing exactly on the topic. It must grow from the author’s dissertation. But it does not fit my idea of what my dissertation should be.

I did thorough research and proposed my topic. After a 36-page prospectus, he grew excited about seeing an image of a book coming.

Nobody else has ever treated the historical developments of modern American women writers and modern Chinese women writers from 1899 and 1996 with the depth and width that I have given it.

Nobody before me. And I dare say nobody ever after will attempt to treat it a second time with my approach.

I must be honest. I originally treated it as my brain child. In a way, I treated it as a brain child between me and the supervising professor. But nowadays he wasn’t that excited about it. For a time, maybe he intensely disliked it. Maybe he even started to squander it when he was under influence of snake tongues.

That is why I even had to fight against my leading professor when he became upset of where the project was going when I was halfway through.

I fought him as hard as I could, went back and slightly changed the already written chapters, and fought against everybody else and carried it to its completion.

One especially hard chapter, the one on Hurston, went through seven drafts till I felt I got the thing down as I would like it to be.

The chapter on Wang Anyi went through four drafts. All the drafts overhauled previous interpretations. Until I felt I have gotten everything down right in ninety pages.

All creation, deep down at its heart, must grow from the profoundest love. Any writing that departs from this guiding principle does not go with the good spirit. And it does not read right. It does not feel right.

If a work or an interpretation is right, you know it feels right.

Consequently it also means any artistic work that does not grow out of the spirit of creative love, cannot be counted as good, or first-rate. They must move down the ladder. The crown or the diadem must be placed on the head of such works that seek to heal human beings, cultures, and to reduce the tensions and misunderstandings.

I think I have got it right in my dissertation. That is why I conclude it is good. In a sense, the author is trying to imitate the Supreme when he brings forth the world. HE feels good after each day of HIS labor. After He has brought forth everything, he retires, but he feels good.

When people talk about the author-god, it does not mean the author can write anything in any way he or she wants, or that the author can control everything and every character in his or her creation. The right understanding must be the author is creating with a profound love.

As a result, I do not particularly take to works that promote decadence, a rush towards death, a drive for destruction, sowing seeds of suspicion and distrust among humans and cultures. They are agents that “negate.”

And the Bible tells everybody that the NEGATING SPIRIT represents the devil, for the devil is always undercutting God, who represents the tendency to create, to generate, to integrate, and to make better.

That maybe the ultimate function of literature, or any artistic creation.

Life is the struggle between these two forces, everywhere.

But I am very tired, extremely. I have done justice to the topic, that means I have fulfilled my intellectual responsibilities towards women in these two cultures, and the American culture and the Chinese culture in general.

I am done with book-writing for now. I need a break, and I am extremely weary. I do not need anyone coming in to tell me I still haven’t done enough. I have done absolutely everything I can within my capabilities.

The book is very good. I do not need to question that. A few other professors also know and they confirm it.

I think with that, I have also fulfilled my duty towards the Supreme, if He demands glory be accredited to Him.

Everybody else should hold their breath and stop criticizing me for this or that. I feel at peace.

Each artistic creation is like a human child. If the birth does not grow out of love, but pure lusts, or using the child as a leverage, or a ticket to another life, the process does not feel good.

Socrates says, for he has learned from a wise woman, that love is to gain rebirth in beauty. It is the birth of the spirit in beauty. When this happens, everything is in harmony. Right now I agree with this.


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