Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Helen R. Ewald


Most academics can agree that intellectual property warrants legal protection, especially in an educational context where their own publications are often traded for promotion and tenure. However, academics would also agree that they require a reliable exemption allowing them to use copyright protected work for educational purposes. Copyright law has historically satisfied both these needs by protecting academic publications from unauthorized use, and by providing an educational exemption that allows educators access to copyright protected work in their classes without first gaining permission or paying a royalty.;In attempting to update current copyright law to match technological advances and to harmonize with international copyright law, the United States Congress recently passed a body of legislation that weakens the educational exemption and impedes educational access to copyright protected work. Academic organizations protested the unfairness of this legislation. The reasons they cite relate directly to the erosion of the educational exemption, impeded access to creative works for teaching purposes, and a diminishing "cultural commons." They share the view that recent legislation has ignored the educational stakeholder, insofar as this legislation seems to have increased burdens for classroom applications, while the benefits of copyright appear to remain few. If what the aformentioned organizations charge is true, then the balance of burdens and benefits has shifted for educators and students in the classroom environment. This shift in balance undermines Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution, which implies that the reason for establishing copyright law is to benefit all stakeholders.;This work focuses on recent changes in copyright protection of digital intellectual property. To understand, more specifically, how digital copyright legislation burdens academic authors and audiences, this dissertation analyzes the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and selected text representing academic positions on recent digital copyright legislation.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Carol Ann Mohrbacher



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

171 pages