This is an article written by Shujen Wang which was published in Cinema Journal, Vol. 43, No. 1 (Autumn, 2003), pp. 25-43 by the University of Texas. This article focuses on how anti-piracy initiatives of industrial states and transnational corporations seek to maintain control over property and markets, even in the fact of technological challenges and changes. This paper provides a market oriented analysis of the purpose of anti-piracy initiatives including anti-circumvention provisions in order to extract their net effect on global markets for content and property. Wang does a good job of analyzing the relevant policies--as all of the other scholars do--but he extends his analysis a step further to show how big corporations and their subsidiaries (for example the MPAA) have a huge role in shaping national and international trade policies. This is particularly poignant in light of the WIPO standards that led to the perceived need to pass legislation like the DMCA, as well as the growing role of copyright legislation in other, prominent international talks, including the Uruguay round of GATT talks (which established the WTO), as well as the WTO's subsequent agreement on TRIPS (trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights).
This topic is critical to national and international governmental policies; however, an analysis of firms, consumers, producers, owners and creators alike is essential to the analysis of the direct impact of these policies on the economy. Wang's work masterfully details the size and scope of the booming technology industry--both globally and within the United States--and offers a detailed account of what their biggest goals are, and how they will wield market dominance to maintain their control and prosperity. Wang details how piracy effects large firms, and how anti-circumvention measures have deterred piracy.
This piece is unique within my body of sources, and absolutely essential to my research. It is very refreshing that Wang offers more market oriented analysis, rather than getting caught up on the legislative details. Although it is often best to conduct one's own theoretical survey of the effects of legislative language on the economy, Wang's piece provides substantive detail that is will be very beneficial to the clarity and consistency of my paper.
Niva Elkin Koren discusses the shortcomings of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's anti-circumvention provisions with respect to the protection of consumer's rights in her 2007 article entitled "MAKING ROOM FOR CONSUMERS UNDER THE DMCA". Koren follows a very rigid organization detailing how the relevant legislation diverges from traditional protections awarded to consumers, and how consumers of information have an inherently unique role of being more active than the traditional consumer in their consumption.
Koren begins by showing that legal precedent exists to permit consumers to bypass technological protections on use of products. Specifically, she points to the Lexmark and Chamberlain cases which permit consumers to bypass embedded technologies that 'encrypt' printer cartridges and garage-door openers, respectively. She then shows that the legislative norms of laws governing the consumption of information took a drastic turn with the DCMA, and consumer choice was unprecedentedly limited by the following three facets of the legislation: bans on access to a work by circumvention, bans on trafficking of devices that circumvent, and bans on manufacturing and distributing devices designed to circumvent access control. Koren continues that the DMCA, an act initially intended to deter piracy, became a way to disenfranchise consumers. Koren suggests that legislation should adhere to a simple test with regards to its protection of consumer rights: the rights of readers and listeners to interact with copyrighted works should be adjusted to accommodate parallel uses made possible by new technologies. (9) The anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA show an inherent misunderstanding and underestimation of the role of consumers with regards to information. Koren points out that with the fair use doctrine, consumers are not only 'consumer-shoppers', but also 'consumer-authors' and 'consumer-participants', and that the latter two groups should have the ability to interact with the materials which they purchase. Digital consumption differs from traditional consumption in the sense that it involves the intangible element of actually using information. Consumers are inherently chastised as being unproductive and passive; but, in the case of consumers of information, they are much of a part of the reason that copyrights should be protected. Consumers interact with material to promote science and art, the original intention for establishing copyright law in the first place.
My aim is to study the underlying economic impacts of the DMCA anti-circumvention provisions, and Koren's piece drives to the heart of the notion that the DMCA does not fairly adjudicate the role of consumers in the digital age. Koren's thoroughly detailed analysis of digital consumer theory, as well as the blatant discrepancies in the legal protection of consumers provides an excellent source to show that the authors of the DMCA inadequately took into account the impact of the legislation upon consumption, upon the fast-growing I.T. industry, and upon general legal consistency.
tagged anti-circumvention consumer_rights consumers_in_the_digital_age by bradleyc ...on 24-NOV-08