The “anti-circumvention” provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), codified in section 1201 of the Copyright Act, have not been used as Congress envisioned. The law was ostensibly intended to stop copyright infringers from defeating anti-piracy protections added to copyrighted works. In practice, the anti-circumvention provisions have been used to stifle a wide array of legitimate activities. As a result, the DMCA has become a serious threat to several important public policy priorities.
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