The Double Punch of Law and Technology: Fighting Music Piracy or Remaking Copyright in a Digital Age?
The battle between the recording industry and those illegal sharing music over the Internet has gripped headlines over the last few years like few others related to the digital age. At its core, it is a battle about the meaning of property and thus a battle over the heart of the emerging information economy. This article critically examines the double punch of law and technology the simultaneous and interwoven deployment of legal and electronic measures to protect digital content and asks whether it is merely a defense strategy against piracy, as the industry asserts, or rather an attempt to fundamentally redefine the producer-consumer relationship. Based on some initial evidence for the latter proposition, the article analyzes reasons for concern, outlines the current politics of copyright policymaking that have given producers the upper hand, and sketches elements of a strategy to fight music piracy that does not infringe on basic consumer rights.
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