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Regulatory capitalism, decentred enforcement and its legal consequences for digital expression: the use of copyright law to restrict freedom of speech online

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ben FarrandORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Taylor & Francis, 2013.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Copyright, as currently understood, is justified by the belief that the protection it grants to creators incentivizes the continued creation of works deemed culturally beneficial to society. However, its use can be less altruistic, as a means of suppressing embarrassing or controversial information. The ability to disseminate sensitive material quickly through the Internet concerns both state and non-state actors, and there are indications that, through the use of private intermediaries, copyright can be used to suppress speech. This article seeks to explain how the current neoliberal system of governance blurs the line between public and private actors, creating a diffused and decentralized system of copyright enforcement that allows for the suppression of speech in a way that avoids discussion of censorship.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Farrand B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Information Technology and Politics

Year: 2013

Volume: 10

Issue: 4

Pages: 404-422

Print publication date: 01/10/2013

Online publication date: 18/09/2013

Date deposited: 06/04/2019

ISSN (print): 1933-1681

ISSN (electronic): 1933-169X

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


DOI: 10.1080/19331681.2013.843922


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