The Digital Rights Movement: The Role of Technology in by Hector Postigo

By Hector Postigo

The move opposed to restrictive electronic copyright security arose mostly according to the excesses of the electronic Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998. within the electronic Rights stream, Hector Postigo exhibits that what begun as an statement of shopper rights to electronic content material has develop into whatever broader: a flow involved not only with shoppers and contraptions yet with cultural possession. more and more stringent legislation and technological measures are greater than incoveniences; they lock up entry to our “cultural commons.”

Postigo describes the legislative background of the DMCA and the way coverage “blind spots” produced a legislations at odds with current and rising customer practices. but the DMCA validated a political and felony intent dropped at endure on electronic media, the web, and different new applied sciences. Drawing on social move idea and technology and know-how stories, Postigo offers case experiences of resistance to elevated regulate over electronic media, describing a bunch of strategies that variety from hacking to lobbying.

Postigo discusses the movement’s new, user-centered perception of “fair use” that seeks to legitimize noncommercial own and inventive makes use of comparable to copying legitimately bought content material and remixing track and video tracks. He introduces the idea that of technological resistance--when hackers and clients layout and installation applied sciences that permits entry to electronic content material regardless of technological safety mechanisms--as the turn facet to the technological enforcement represented through electronic reproduction defense and an important tactic for the move.

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Extra resources for The Digital Rights Movement: The Role of Technology in Subverting Digital Copyright (The Information Society Series)

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Another witness wrote: “The moral implications of copyright violation on the nets are far from clear. Simplistic analogies to stealing and inflated claims of software companies notwithstanding, the true dimensions of harm and losses from common small scale piracy have never been well established. It is not unreasonable to speculate that many instances of illicit copying do not in fact result in any actual harm to the copyright owner” (Mahatma Kane-Jeeves, in Comments 1994). These comments suggest that copying of intellectual property was seen as a common practice, and although I do not suggest that authors’ rights ought to be ignored, the issue should have been addressed with more finesse than an all-encompassing focus on enforcement through technological protection mechanisms and criminalization.

They noted that forcing ISPs to monitor users would impose a crippling economic burden, making it difficult for the industry to grow. 1 The strongest critiques of the Green Paper’s recommendations came from individuals and law professors in support of a more user-centered view of copyright. Of the more than 140 written comments submitted to the WGIP after the release of the Green Paper, 20 were from private individuals concerned with the impact of policy on personal use. 2 Many of the individuals who commented after the release of the Green Paper were computer professionals, such as computer science professors and programmers, and they deployed arguments common among hackers, who view proprietary claims on software as ultimately detrimental to the Origins of the Digital Rights Movement 43 common good.

In Comments 1993) Rothman is generally correct. Comments from private citizens who imagined a different kind of impact by the NII (one that affected private learning, creative usage, or a need for an open system that would buttress free speech) were few and ultimately ignored in the Green Paper’s recommendations. Images that struck a chord with policymakers saw industry as the purveyor of value and, ironically, of free speech. Steven Metalitz painted a picture of who would provide useful content: “If copyright cannot be protected in the new information environment, then the supply of useful information will be drastically curtailed—or just as troubling, it will be limited to information that government or some other powerful institution chooses to create” (in Comments 1993)—an ironic statement because media corporations are themselves powerful institutions deserving of the same healthy skepticism that government receives and also because in the digital movement it is these same industries that have been shown to be enemies of free expression as a result of stringent protection of cultural goods.

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