From the Free Expression Policy Project, an updated version of Marjorie Heins's policy report, "'The Progress of Science and Useful Arts': Why Copyright Today Threatens Intellectual Freedom." It's worth a read. Also available in PDF format. [commons-blog]
One quote from the cited source: "Like copyright term extension, the DMCA has been defended as necessary to harmonize U.S. with international law. Two treaties crafted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) oblige member countries to "provide adequate legal protection and effective legal remedies" against circumvention of electronic locks on copyrighted works. ... But the head of the Patent and Trademark Office acknowledged that the treaties do not require the DMCA's "device-oriented" approach – as opposed to the more traditional "conduct-oriented" approach that targets copyright infringers and not the researchers who create new technologies."