Temple undergraduate’s paper published in Australian law journal
Most law students are relieved if their papers are published by professional law reviews. They spend many months researching a topic, narrowing their focus, writing drafts and awaiting word from law review editors. Even when
their papers are accepted, their work is often separated into “notes” sections devoted to student writings.
So when Temple undergraduate Steven Horowitz learned that a paper of his had been selected for publication by the Deakin Law Review of Deakin University in Australia, he was shocked.
“I couldn’t believe it. I had no expectation of publication, because law journals can be very political,” Horowitz, a junior philosophy major, said. “Most of them won’t even consider a piece by an undergraduate.”
On a whim, Horowitz sent his 38-page paper about applying Lockean thought to the ethics of Internet file sharing to several law journals in early 2005.
“I was just throwing my paper out there to see if it would land anywhere,” he said. “One day, the Deakin editors told me they wanted to use it and that it was a brilliant piece of scholarship.”
He began researching his topic last May, when the Honors program first brought together the dozen promising undergraduate researchers who made up the inaugural Diamond Scholars group. Under the direction of David Post, a Temple law professor and nationall
y known cyber-ethics expert, Horowitz winnowed his focus to John Locke’s treatises on property rights. He also received support from Robert Guay, a philosophy professor who served as a sounding board.
“The support Temple provided was invaluable,” Horowitz said. “I couldn’t have done this project without being part of the Diamond Scholars program.”
Horowitz, who hopes to apply for a Undergraduate Research Incentive Fund grant to continue his scholarship on cyber-ethics, said his yearlong project helped him decide to apply to law school.
After presenting his work at the Temple Undergraduate Research Forum and Creative Arts Symposium (TURF-CAS), Horowitz wants to refine his topic to look more directly at the ethics of peer-to-peer exchange. His dre
am is to become an intellectual property lawyer and update the nation’s copyright laws.
A onetime classical trumpeter who was talented enough to play Carnegie Hall in high school, Horowitz can straddle both sides of the file-sharing debate.
“The question of the legality of file sharing brings together my philosophical and legal interests with my background as a musician,” said Horowitz, who started as a music major at Temple.
Noting that most college students have plugged into Napster or one of many other file-sharing programs at some point, Horowitz hopes to get feedback from his peers at the symposium.
“I’m looking forward to presenting on this,” he said. “I want to be in a position where I have to defend what I wrote. It’s good to think about things from a different point of view.”
- By Ted Boscia
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