So how are things different today? If you are a person who routinely uses computers, the Internet, or digital media, imagine a day when you do not create–intentionally and unintentionally–hundreds of temporary, evanescent copies. (If you doubt this, look in the cache of your browser.) Is there a day when you do not “distribute” or retransmit fragments of articles you have read, when you do not seek to share with friends some image or tune? Is there a day when you do not rework for your job, for your class work, or simply for pastiche or fun, some of the digital material around you? In a networked society, copying is not only easy, it is a necessary part of transmission, storage, caching, and, some would claim, even reading.
— James Boyle on the inevitability of copying and reworking digital content in a networked society, from The Public Domain: enclosing the commons of the mind, page 51. (Boyle himself cites Jessica Litman’s Digital Copyright: Protecting Intellectual Property on the Internet in support of these assertions.)