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EFF Testifies on Exemptions to DMCA Section 1201

DEEPLINKS BLOG
May 14, 2015

EFF will go to bat for users' rights at this month's hearings on exemptions to Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Section 1201's overreaching restriction on circumventing "access control" or "digital rights management" (DRM) technologies comes in direct conflict with lawful activities like conducting security research, repairing cars, and resuscitating old video games. For that reason, Congress included a provision allowing the public to petition the Copyright Office and Librarian of Congress for exemptions to the 1201 clause. It is a long, complex process that happens every three years with no guarantee that previous exemptions will stand, so EFF is back on the ground to advocate for several important issues.

In past years, EFF successfully petitioned for the right to jailbreak your phone and use DVD video for fair use remixes. In the 2015 petitions, we are working to uphold these uses and more. Here is what we are focusing on:

  • Conducting security and safety research and performing repairs and customization on vehicles, where access to onboard computers is typically restricted
  • Creating fair use remixes of videos from locked sources, including DVDs and Blu-ray discs, as well as from online streaming sites
  • Jailbreaking phones and tablets to run operating systems and applications not specifically authorized by the manufacturer
  • Modifying older video games that require a centralized authentication or matchmaking server, after that server has been taken offline

Public attention and participation are crucial in the online freedom movement. Laws like the DMCA and international trade agreements like the TPP shouldn't hinder our right to access, repair, remix, and tinker with technology. You can see EFF's legal team in action at the public hearings in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. We advise attendees to dress in business attire and to observe protocol for government hearings. The full proposed agenda of 1201 rulemaking hearings is here and you can find the listing of EFF testimonies below:

What: Proposed Class 22: Vehicle software – security and safety research
When: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 10:45 AM
Where: UCLA School of Law, Room 1314, 385 Charles E. Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095 USA
Who: Kit Walsh, EFF Staff Attorney

What: Proposed Class 21: vehicle software – diagnosis, repair, or modification
When: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 2 PM
Where: UCLA School of Law, Room 1314, 385 Charles E. Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095 USA
Who: Kit Walsh, EFF Staff Attorney

What: Proposed Class 23: Abandoned software – video games requiring server communication
When: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 1:45 PM
Where: UCLA School of Law, Room 1314, 385 Charles E. Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095 USA
Who: Mitch Stoltz, EFF Staff Attorney

What: Proposed Classes 16-18: Jailbreaking –wireless telephone handsets, all-purpose mobile computing devices, and dedicated e-book readers
When: Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 10:15 AM
Where: UCLA School of Law, Room 1314, 385 Charles E. Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095 USA
Who: Mitch Stoltz, EFF Staff Attorney

What: Proposed Class 7: Audiovisual works – derivative uses – noncommercial remix videos
When: Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 1:45 PM
Where: Mumford Room of the James Madison Building of the Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. SE., Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Who: Corynne McSherry, EFF Legal Director

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