Reconsidering the Dmca

21 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2006

See all articles by R. Polk Wagner

R. Polk Wagner

University of Pennsylvania Law School


This brief essay extends the analysis in On Software Regulation, 78 S. Cal. L. Rev. 457 (2005), to the anticircumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. I argue that the DMCA should be reconceptualized as an effort in Congress to alter the regulatory balance between law and software rather than an effort to expand the scope of copyright protection. I suggest that this regulatory strategy, which I call legal preemption, is likely to be an emerging feature of legislation in the years ahead.

Keywords: intellectual property, copyright, public values, fair use, DMCA, anticircumvention, software

Suggested Citation

Wagner, R. Polk, Reconsidering the Dmca. Houston Law Review, Vol. 42, p. 1107, 2005. Available at SSRN:

R. Polk Wagner (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
267-433-4431 (Phone)

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