UIC Review of Intellectual Property Law


“Cyberanarchy,” broadly refers to the idea that legal regulation of the Internet is an infeasible objective. One prime example is current online enforcement mechanisms’ inability to quell copyright infringement. These mechanisms do little more than perpetuate a technological arms race between copyright holders and infringers. Moreover, with notable public relations failures, such as the RIAA lawsuits and digital rights management schemes, society has taken on a nonchalant attitude towards online infringement. Examining traditional justifications behind obedience to the law, this blasé attitude takes root in societal feelings of inadequacy both in “normative” and “instrumental” perspectives of justice. Normatively, there lacks a cohesive societal idea of justice and obligation. Instrumentally, there lacks proper infrastructure and administrative ability to enforce online copyright laws. This leads to unfettered digital copyright infringement. Focusing on copyrights as human rights strikes a balance between instrumental and normative considerations of copyright enforcement. Ostensibly, this would obligate lawmakers to bring end-users into the legislative discussion, while furthering the creation of a legal framework that resonates with societal perspectives of justice. When these perspectives serve as the cornerstone to the existing legal framework, legitimacy of and obedience to digital copyright law becomes attainable.