Dobusch and Quack (2013)
|Dobusch and Quack (2013)
|Framing Standards, Mobilizing Users: Copyright Versus Fair Use in Transnational Regulation
|Dobusch, L., Quack, S.
|Dobusch, L., & Quack, S. (2013). Framing standards, mobilizing users: Copyright versus fair use in transnational regulation. Review of International Political Economy, 20(1), 52-88.
|Definitive , Open Access
|Key Related Studies:
|About the Data
|The first and core part of the investigation analyses framing strategies based on key online documents published by focal actors of both coalitions (DRM and fair use) between 1998 and 2009. Second, the authors undertook an analysis of documents in relation to the copyright and fair use coalitions under study and conducted semi-structured interviews with representatives and activists of both coalitions. Thirdly, they did a review of secondary data, such as official reports by industry and author associations, extant market research on the diffusion of certain music and film formats, statistics on the use of copyright licenses and contributions to Wikipedia.
|Primary and Secondary data
|Secondary Data Sources:
|Data Collection Methods:
|Data Analysis Methods:
|Cross Country Study?:
|Government or policy study?:
|Time Period(s) of Collection:
In this paper we analyze how politicized conflicts about the regulation of copyright following the agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) shifted from the political to the market arena, where two opposing coalitions of actors pursued competing standard-setting initiatives. We find that paradoxically an industry coalition that had successfully lobbied during the TRIPS negotiations for a global copyright protection regime ran into trouble developing and enforcing it via technical standards in the market place, while a loose and emerging civil society coalition defending ‘fair use’ proved to be more effective to establish private copy-left licenses in the market than it had been before in influencing agenda setting in the political sphere. Drawing on organizational and social movement theory we show that the strategic use of organizational forms and collective action frames was more decisive for the mobilization of users than material resources, and that the success of collective action frames depended on their compatibility with user practices. Our analysis challenges standard arguments about regime complexity providing more leverage to well-endowed actors by highlighting the transformative dimension of resource mobilization. It also points to strategies of public-private shifting which future studies on regime complexity should better encompass.
Main Results of the Study
- An initially dispersed group of civil society actors with relative few resources effectively mobilized transnationally in support of a standardized copyright license for ‘open content’, while a better-resourced industry coalition was less successful in establishing its standards for Digital Rights Management* Organizational arrangements mediated social interactions within coalitions, facilitating the emergence of a collective identity in the Creative Commons case as compared to a set of negotiated compromises between particularistic interests in the DRM case* The strategic use of organizational forms and collective action frames can be more decisive than material resources for the mobilization of users, and that the success of collective action frames depends on their compatibility with user practices* Regime shifting from intergovernmental to private governance can also open up new and favourable spaces for weak actors to experiment with alternative forms of regulation
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
- The results underline the importance of the small everyday choices that people make about using or not using specific platform standards for accessing cultural and informational goods. The success of powerful economic actors aiming to establish platform standards depends on the attractiveness of their standards to large numbers of producers and consumers. If they ignore the day-to-day practices of such audiences they are likely to detract from the success of a standardization project.* Politics by ‘positive example’ typically has a low behavioural threshold for participation and can, once set in motion, produce considerable momentum by rapidly increasing the usage of a standard. Such network effects can be an effective lever through which civil society coalitions can increase their influence on transnational rule setting.* The authors argue that implementation politics of the kind undertaken by the fair use coalition have the potential to effect broader political debates through shifts in political identity, public debates and the emergence of new political actors.* The article suggests that scholars studying implementation politics under regime complexity would benefit from including transnational private standardization into their analysis.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:
|Period of material under study: