The DMCA Rulemaking and Digital Legal Vernaculars

Olivia G Conti


In this paper, I examine at the DMCA rulemaking as a venue for the development and exhibition of vernacular legal expertise. a process by which everyday people—those outside of legal and lawmaking roles—gain legal knowledge in specific areas. The DMCA rulemaking process is a venue for individuals to collaboratively share and shape their vision for a fairer intellectual property regime. However, the rulemaking process also reveals a complicated vision of digital citizenship, where individuals argue for rights that are linked to a U.S. framework while simultaneously envisioning themselves as sovereign digital citizens.


DMCA, vernacular, law, rhetoric, rulemaking

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