I first heard the DMCA characterized as being about suppression of innovation by either Fred von Lohmann or Seth Schoen of the EFF. This is an idea that has really stuck with me. I haven’t seen anyone else dig into this idea in the past handful of years, though, until Cory posted a link to a paper on that very topic on Boing Boing.
The paper was written by Wendy Seltzer, known for establishing the Chilling Effects website which acts as a clearing house for bogus DMCA takedown letters. The paper will be published in the January 25th edition of the Berkeley Technology Law Journal.
This is a substantial work, clocking in at 54 pages. It digs deeply into both the legal and technical aspects of this conflict. I like that in the conclusion, she ties the idea into not only affecting new innovators but a sort of self limitation that big content is inflicting on itself by closing off its own ability to consider new models, based on new technologies.