Abstract - The Information Society 20(4)

Copyright and Commerce: The DMCA, Trusted Systems, and the Stabilization of Distribution

Tarleton Gillespie

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act has been criticized for granting too much power to copyright holders, offering them new technological controls that may harm the public interest. But, by considering this exclusively as a copyright issue, we overlook how the DMCA anticipates a technological and commercial infrastructure for regulating not only copying, but every facet of the purchase and use of cultural goods. In upholding the law in Universal v. Reimerdes, the courts not only stabilized these market-friendly arrangements in cultural distribution; they extended these arrangements into realms as diverse as encryption research and journalism, with consequences for the very production of knowledge.

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