The DMCA, Database Protection, and Right to Repair: The Long Tail of Public Interest Activism in the First Digital Copyright Decade

Information & Culture, 56 (1). (2021) DOI: 10.7560/IC56103.

TPRC48: The 48th Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy

54 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2020

See all articles by Bryan Bello

Bryan Bello

American University - School of Communication

Patricia Aufderheide

American University - School of Communication

Date Written: November 30, 2020

Abstract

Abstract: The Digital Future Coalition (1996-2002) was an unprecedented public interest coalition on Internet and copyright policy with much farther-ranging effects than has been recognized previously. Uniting commercial and noncommercial stakeholders to push back against intellectual property maximalism on the nascent Internet, it altered both treaty and legislative language, entered a trope—“balance”—into national discourse on copyright policy, blocked U.S. copyright protection for databases, enhanced popular engagement with fair use, and set the stage for the “Right to Repair” movement. This historical research was accomplished primarily by interviewing representatives of the Digital Future Coalition (DFC) and opposing groups, as well as one ex-official, and by consulting a hitherto untapped, private archive of documents relevant to the prehistory and 1996-2002 history of the DFC.

Keywords: copyright policy, Internet policy, coalitions, lobbying, Internet history

Suggested Citation

Bello, Bryan and Aufderheide, Patricia, The DMCA, Database Protection, and Right to Repair: The Long Tail of Public Interest Activism in the First Digital Copyright Decade (November 30, 2020). Information & Culture, 56 (1). (2021) DOI: 10.7560/IC56103., TPRC48: The 48th Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3740187 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3740187

Bryan Bello (Contact Author)

American University - School of Communication ( email )

Mary Graydon Center
4400 Massachusetts Av. NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

Patricia Aufderheide

American University - School of Communication ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States
202-885-2069 (Phone)

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