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Keywords:

  • Political communication;
  • internet advocacy;
  • copyright;
  • digital rights management (DRM);
  • web research methods

This article examines the rhetoric around copyright and the regulation of digital rights management (DRM) from 2003 to 2006 in congressional hearings, in major newspapers, and on the most prominent relevant websites. The article describes a new combination of methods for identifying a set of online documents to compare with offline documents via content analysis. These three media present very different views of the copyright debate. Hearings present a rough balance of both coalitions' messages. Newspapers lean slightly toward stronger fair use but have little coverage. The online debate features a deluge of strong fair use arguments. These findings highlight different communication strategies and suggest broader lessons about the changing nature of policy advocacy and the policymaking process.