Coding the Dictatorship of ‘the They:’ A Phenomenological Critique of Digital Rights Management

In J. Jeremy Wisnewski Mark Sanders (ed.), Ethics and Phenomenology. Lexington Books (forthcoming)
This paper uses Heidegger’s discussion of artifacts in Being and Time to motivate a phenomenological critique of Digital Rights Management regimes such as the one that allows DVDs to require one to watch commercials and copyright notices. In the first section, I briefly sketch traditional ethical approaches to intellectual property and indicate the gap that a phenomenological approach can fill. In section 2, following Heidegger’s discussion in Being and Time, I analyze DRM technologies as exemplary of the breakdown of things as ready-to-hand; in particular, DRM is an example of what Heidegger calls "obstinacy." In section 3, I argue that this sort of concern generalizes beyond digital rights management due to its imbrication in ordinary, everyday experience. Finally, in section 4, I propose a framework for analyzing DRM in terms of our individuation from "the They," emphasizing how DRM undermines the functioning of "responsibility."
Keywords Copyright  Digital Rights Management  Phenomenology
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Werner Ceusters & Barry Smith (2007). Referent Tracking for Digital Rights Management. International Journal of Metadata, Semantics and Ontologies.
Hugh Breakey (2009). Liberalism and Intellectual Property Rights. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 8 (3):329-349.
Estrid Sørensen (2011). Comment on Norm Friesen's. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 15 (3):206-208.
Niva Elkin-Koren (2001). The Privatization of Information Policy. Ethics and Information Technology 2 (4):201-209.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

14 ( #184,535 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.