Legal and Institutional Systems

Click to close window

"[T]he 'author-function' is tied to the legal and institutional systems that circumscribe, determine, and articulate the realm of discourses" (What is an author? 145).

When a discourse is trangressive, the author of it will receive the necessary punishments allocated by the authority, according to the penal code. This authority is like Althusser's notion of the Repressive State Apparatus (RSA). It is understood that writings or speeches that go against rules, they are by nature not acceptable by the authority, cannot be punished and be made answerable. This is where authorship comes into the picture where the author will have to bear the reponsibilities for his trangressive work. Along came the introduction of ownership and the associated copyright laws.