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The Digital Rights Movement

The Role of Technology in Subverting Digital Copyright

MIT Press

The movement against restrictive digital copyright protection arose
largely in response to the excesses of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
of 1998. In The Digital Rights Movement, Hector Postigo shows
that what began as an assertion of consumer rights to digital content has become
something broader: a movement concerned not just with consumers and gadgets but with
cultural ownership. Increasingly stringent laws and technological measures are more
than incoveniences; they lock up access to our "cultural commons." Postigo
describes the legislative history of the DMCA and how policy "blind spots"
produced a law at odds with existing and emerging consumer practices. Yet the DMCA
established a political and legal rationale brought to bear on digital media, the
Internet, and other new technologies. Drawing on social movement theory and science
and technology studies, Postigo presents case studies of resistance to increased
control over digital media, describing a host of tactics that range from hacking to
lobbying. Postigo discusses the movement's new, user-centered conception of
"fair use" that seeks to legitimize noncommercial personal and creative
uses such as copying legitimately purchased content and remixing music and video
tracks. He introduces the concept of technological resistance--when hackers and
users design and deploy technologies that allows access to digital content despite
technological protection mechanisms--as the flip side to the technological
enforcement represented by digital copy protection and a crucial tactic for the
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Weitere Infos & Material

Postigo, Hector
Hector Postigo is Associate Professor in the Department of Broadcasting,
Telecommunications, and Mass Media in the School of Communications and Theater at
Temple University.

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