Copyright in the digital age

Richard Haynes

in Media Rights and Intellectual Property

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780748618804
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670994 | DOI:
Copyright in the digital age

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The turn in what some have called the ‘digital moment’ and others have interpreted as the ‘digital dilemma’ has collapsed the distinctions between media producers and media consumers. Digitalisation, the movement of information by means of binary digits or ‘bits’, has meant that all forms of media can be easily manipulated, thereby undermining the ways in which copyright works both to promote creativity and to control copying. Digital media has the potential to collapse many of the distinctions that analogue media upheld and around which copyright has historically been formulated. This chapter examines why digital media have such far-reaching consequences for media rights and how governments and media industries have attempted to maintain regulation of the digital environment through new legislation and technological means. First, the chapter looks at exactly why digital media pose a threat. It then focuses on digital lives, digital rights management, the WIPO Copyright Treaty, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998 and the Copyright Directive. It also discusses copyright issues involving DVDs and descrambling of content-scrambling systems.

Keywords: copyright; digital media; digitalisation; media rights; digital lives; DVDs; digital rights management; content-scrambling systems; WIPO Copyright Treaty; Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Chapter.  5446 words. 

Subjects: Media Studies

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