The privatization of information policy

Ethics and Information Technology 2 (4):201-209 (2001)
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.
Keywords copyright  information policy  privatization
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