NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1104657
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jul
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1368-1613
The Ethics of DeCSS Posting: Towards Assessing the Morality of the Internet Posting of DVD Copyright Circumvention Software
Eschenfelder, Kristin R.; Howard, Robert Glenn; Desai, Anuj C.
Information Research: An International Electronic Journal, v11 n4 Jul 2006
Introduction: We investigate the conditions under which posting software known as "DeCSS" on the Internet is ethical. DeCSS circumvents the access and copy control protection measures on commercial DVDs. Through our investigation, we point to limitations in current frameworks used to assess ethical computer based civil disobedience. Method: The paper draws on empirical findings of actual DeCSS posting to consider the limitations of current frameworks. Findings were generated from content analysis of Web sites that post DeCSS using search engine sampling with file name, language, and server location delimiters. Content analysis examined the number of Websites hosting DeCSS, the presence or absence of speech related to DeCSS and Free/Open Source software, and the arguments explaining DeCSS posting. Analysis: Drawing on theorizing from political philosophy and the existing frameworks, the paper compares characteristics of actual DeCSS posting to the existing frameworks. Results: The paper points out six areas that require further attention in ethical frameworks--determining motivation for posting, deciding whether some groups have more moral standing to post, assessing knowledge of the laws related to circumvention and posting, determining if protesters have taken related political actions, the legality of various formats of circumvention devices, and the physical geography of the participants.
Thomas D. Wilson. 9 Broomfield Road, Broomhill, Sheffield, S10 2SE, UK. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A