£17.99 | $31.95

8 August 2013
ISBN: 9781780326405
304 pages
216 x 138mm

Business Studies, Cultural Studies, Economics, Human Rights, Sociology and Social Policy

A Copyright Masquerade

How Corporate Lobbying Threatens Online Freedoms

By Monica Horten

When thousands marched through ice and snow against a copyright treaty, their cries for free speech on the Internet shot to the heart of the European Union and forced a political U-turn. The mighty entertainment industries could only stare in dismay, their back-room plans in tatters. This highly original analysis of three attempts to bring in new laws to defend copyright on the Internet - ACTA, Ley Sinde and the Digital Economy Act - investigates the dance of influence between lobbyists and their political proxies and unmasks the sophistry of their arguments. Copyright expert Monica Horten outlines the myriad ways that lobbyists contrived to bypass democratic process and persuade politicians to take up their cause in imposing an American corporate agenda. In doing so, she argues the case for stronger transparency in copyright policy-making. A Copyright Masquerade is essential reading for anyone who cares about copyright and the Internet, and to those who care about freedom of speech and good government.


'This brilliant exposé shows how corporations and industry lobbyists manipulate the governance of digital networks to their own advantage. Behind the rhetoric about "free markets" and the "openness" of the net lurks a power politics reminiscent of the opium wars. Horten provides a detailed, beautifully written case study of the way neo-liberalism routinely and cynically cancels out the very rights and freedoms - privacy, due process - its legitimacy depends upon, as soon as they threaten to impede the pursuit of profit. A must read for anyone interested in how the contemporary mediascape has been prestructured to favour corporations over individuals.' - Graeme Kirkpatrick, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Manchester University

'A Copyright Masquerade is an intriguing narrative about the ways that the copyright debate in the UK has been shaped by key stakeholders in their own interests to the point where it threatens online freedoms. This book is a compelling read for lawyers and others interested in the development of intellectual property law and it will stimulate important debates for years to come.' - Professor David S. Wall, Durham University

'In this timely and well judged analysis, Horten demonstrates that the Internet age, far from transforming corporate politics has merely shifted the concerns of policy-makers and powerful private sectors interests. If there has been a change, as she establishes, it is in the inability of copyright politics to continue to be conducted in smoke-filled back rooms. This book allows us to be guardedly optimistic about the ability of political process to properly balance the legitimate rights of consumers and copyright holding corporations.' - Christopher May , Professor of Political Economy, Lancaster University

'A Copyright Masquerade can verge on academic, but it remains engaging. At times, the legislative history (and the scandal involved) even has elements of intrigue. But most importantly, it’s extremely informative and demystifying, right from the first page's handy table of common acronyms. For those interested in the structures that influence copyright policy around the world, Horten's book will prove a valuable resource.' - Parker Higgins, Electronic Frontier Foundation

'Anyone interested in the future of copyright law in the European Union and the role lobbyists and corporations play in shaping legislation should read this timely and provocative book.' Simon Stokes, Entertainment Law Review

Table of Contents


Part I - Internet, entertainment and copyright: a political perspective
1 Copyright politics and the Internet: an introduction
2 Copyright and the Internet: what is at stake?

Part II - The American influence: America, ACTA and Special 301
3 Entertaining American objectives
4 A secret copyright treaty
5 Brussels copyfights
6 The EU masquerade
7 Special 301 for Spain
8 Ley Sinde

Part III - The politics of music: Britain and the Digital Economy Act
9 A memorandum with no understanding
10 Ministerial manoeuvres
11 Looking behind the myth
12 Musical lawyers
13 Obstacles in the Lords
14 A cowed Parliament
15 Lifting the masks

About the Author:

Dr Monica Horten is a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She writes the influential IPtegrity blog on European Internet and copyright policy (www.iptegrity.com), attracting an international readership including academics, lawyers and policy-makers. She has a long track record as a writer on telecommunications and Internet matters and has written for the Daily Telegraph and the Financial Times. Her extensive portfolio includes articles on telecoms and mobile phone markets and on the Internet. Dr Horten researched her PhD at the University of Westminster from 2007 to 2010. She holds a masters degree with distinction in communications policy, a postgraduate diploma in marketing, and a bachelor of arts from the Australian National University.