A Right to Read Anonymously: A Closer Look at "Copyright Management" in Cyberspace

28 Conn. L. Rev 981 (1996)

62 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 1997

See all articles by Julie E. Cohen

Julie E. Cohen

Georgetown University Law Center


It has become commonplace to say that we have entered the age of information. The words conjure up images of a reader's paradise ~ an era of limitless access to information resources and unlimited interpersonal communication. In truth, however, the new information age is turning out to be as much an age of information about readers as an age of information for readers. The same technologies that have made vast amounts of information accessible in digital form are enabling information providers to amass an unprecedented wealth of data about who their customers are and what they like to read. In the new age of digitally transmitted information, the simple, formerly anonymous acts of reading, listening, and viewing ~ scanning an advertisement or a short news item, browsing through an online novel or a collection of video clips ~ can be made to speak volumes, including, quite possibly, information that the reader would prefer not to share. This Article focuses specifically on digital monitoring of individual reading habits for purposes of so-called "copyright management" in cyberspace, and evaluates the import of this monitoring for traditional notions of freedom of thought and expression.

Suggested Citation

Cohen, Julie E., A Right to Read Anonymously: A Closer Look at "Copyright Management" in Cyberspace. 28 Conn. L. Rev 981 (1996), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=17990 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.17990

Julie E. Cohen (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

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