Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1098416
 
 

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Breaking and Entering My Own Computer: The Contest of Copyright Metaphors


Bill D. Herman


Communication and Media Management, Gabelli School of Business

2008

Communication Law & Policy 13 (2008) 231-274

Abstract:     
In the current debate over copyright law, those who support maximum copyright protections have advanced their agenda largely via the metaphor of ownership in physical property. As part of this metaphorical system, they have successfully argued that digital rights management (DRM) systems deserve legal protections befitting locked doors. This paper is a discourse analysis of this related system of metaphors and of opponents' metaphorical and non-metaphorical responses.

Scholars who oppose the maximalist vision of copyright have devoted considerable thought to the problem of metaphors, including especially the search for arguments including metaphors that can challenge the metaphor of property. This article concludes there is still more work to be done on this count. As an incremental contribution to this conversation, the article suggests additional arguments, including additional metaphors in search of a new means to conceptualize copyright law.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 59

Keywords: metaphor, legal rhetoric, discourse analysis, copyright, technical protection measures, digital rights management, digital media, technology law

JEL Classification: K39, K11


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Date posted: February 28, 2008 ; Last revised: November 24, 2015

Suggested Citation

Herman, Bill D., Breaking and Entering My Own Computer: The Contest of Copyright Metaphors (2008). Communication Law & Policy 13 (2008) 231-274. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1098416

Contact Information

Bill D. Herman (Contact Author)
Communication and Media Management, Gabelli School of Business ( email )
113 West 60th Street
New York, NY 10023
United States
347-987-1538 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://billyherman.com

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