Marco DiLeonardo is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania studying International Relations.
In relation to law and society, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) demonstrates how law can be used as a tool for social control, especially in the genre of Remix. Remix consists of sampling, or extracting media from different sources, and mixing them together.  By hampering the creation of Remix music, law acts as a tool for social control of up-and-coming DJs and artists. According to popular theorist Donald Black, law’s function is to regulate and constrain the behaviors of individuals in their relationship with one another.  In other words, parties and lobbyists can promote specific interests through law. On the other hand, according to sociologists, laws are simply a guide for action, needing interpretation and enforcement. The DMCA prevents the distribution of an artist’s work. While there is no formal law explicitly limiting a work’s dissemination, the legal apprehension and administration of the DMCA prefers music labels and suppresses the creation of Remix work.
Copyright law controls the people by hampering the creation of revolutionary music. Through an interpretation of Black’s philosophy, one may postulate that laws governing copyright are designed to limit and suppress unfamiliar musicians for the benefit of popular artists. Artists caught unlawfully remixing music are punished through compensation, a contractual obligation in which the violator owes the victim restitution, typically financial. However, I argue that remixing established music is a “crime without victim.”