The Privatization of Information Policy

Abstract

Copyright law in recent years has undergone a process of privatization. While weakening the enforceability of conventional legislation (copyright rules), cyberspace facilitates alternative types of regulation such as contracts and technical self-help measures. Regulation by the code is significantly different from traditional types of public ordering (copyright law) and private ordering (contracts). Norms that technically regulate the use of information are not merely self-made they are also self-enforced. Furthermore, the law was recruited to uphold the superiority of such technical self-help measures. The recently adopted U.S. Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) 1998 prohibits the development and use of technologies designed to circumvent copyright management systems. The underlying assumption of this legislation is that in Cyberspace, the target of regulation should become the technologies that affect users' behavior rather than the behaviors themselves. This paper critically examines this regulatory approach and highlights its shortcomings.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. John Perry Barlow. The Economy of Ideas: A Framework for Patents and Copyrights in the Digital Age (Everything You Know About Intellectual Property Is Wrong). Wired, 2.03: Mar. 1994.

  2. Tom W. Bell. Fair Use v. Fared Use: The Impact of Automated Rights Management on Copyright's Fair Use Doctrine. North Carolina Law Review, 76: 557–619, 1998.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Lorin Brennan. The Public Policy of Information Licensing. Houston Law Review, 36: 61–119, 1999.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Kenneth. W. Dam. Self-help in the Digital Jungle. The Journal of Legal Studies, 28: 393–412, 1999.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Niva Elkin-Koren and Eli M. Salzberger. Law and Economics in Cyberspace. International Review of Law and Economics, 19: 553–581, 1999.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Kevin Garnett, Jonathan Rayner, Gillian Davies, editors. Copinger and Skone James on Copyright (14th ed., volume one). Sweet & Maxwell, London, 1999.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Kamiel J. Koelman, Online Intermediary Liability. In P. Bern Hugenholtz, editors, Copyright and Electronic Commerce, Legal Aspects of Electronic Copyright Management, pages 1–57. Kluwer Law International, 2000.

  8. Paul Goldstein. Copyright (2nd ed.). Little, Brown, Boston, 1996.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Debora J. Halbert. Intellectual Property in the Information Age: The Politics of Expanding Ownership Rights. Quorum Books, Westport, Connecticut, 1999.

    Google Scholar 

  10. I. Trotter Hardy. The Proper Legal Regime for ‘Cyberspace’. University of Pittsburgh Law Review, 55: 993–1055, 1994.

    Google Scholar 

  11. William M. Lands and Richard A. Posner. An Economic Analysis of Copyright Law. Journal of Legal Studies, 18: 325–363, 1989.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Mark A. Lemley. Symposium: Beyond Preemption: The Law and Policy of Intellectual Property Licensing. California Law Review, 87: 111–172, 1999.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Mark A. Lemley. The Law and Economics of Internet Norms. Chicago-Kent Law Review, 73: 1257–1294, 1998.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Lawrence Lessig. Symposium: Surveying Law and Borders: The Zones of Cyberspace. Stanford Law Review, 48: 1403–1411, 1996.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Jessica Litman. The Public Domain. Emory Law Journal, 39: 965–1023, 1990.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Joel R. Reidenberg. Lex Informatica: The Formulation of Information Policy Rules Through Technology. Texas Law Review, 76: 553–593, 1998.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Pamela Samuelson. The Copyright Grab. Wired, 4.01, January 1996.

  18. Pamela Samueslon. Intellectual Property and the Digital Economy: Why the Anti-Circumvention Regulations Need to be Revised. Berkeley Technology Law Journal, 14: 519–566, 1999.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Cass R. Sunstein. Emerging Media Technology and the First Amendment: The First Amendment in Cyberspace. Yale Law Journal, 104: 1757–1804, 1995.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Elkin-Koren, N. The Privatization of Information Policy. Ethics and Information Technology 2, 201–209 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1011462828572

Download citation

  • copyright
  • information policy
  • privatization