What is an author?

John Ford (John.Ford@JCU.EDU.AU)
Thu, 2 Mar 1995 08:49:35 +1000

So Robert Johnson cries foul because he claims that he is not the author of
a particular text.

What then is an author?

Johnson has been consistenly posting work (his?) to this list for some
time along a particular theme. He has responded to criticisms and
otherwise engaed in the debate as the 'creator' of this thread.

If Johnson has represented the work of others I suggest that what he has
done is re-presented that work in a different way. He has made it his own.
In re-presenting, johnson does not 'presented again', for somthing has
been added, someing tampered with, somthing changed, to the extent, I
suggest, that he IS the author (of that particular post). Thus, what is
present is not identical (although the words may be the same) to what the
original author presented. Johnson is this regard, has incorporated his
own person bias, his own person emphasis - he acts as the creator of text.

To simply claim that he is not an author because he did not originally
write the words is an argument - an argument is semantics. By including
the 'words' in his post within the context of the debate and his own
person views on the subject, in my view, makes him the author of that
particular text.

john ford