The Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibits "circumventing" digital rights management (DRM) and "other technical protection measures" used to protect copyrighted works. While this ban was meant to deter copyright infringement many have misused the law to chill competition free speech and fair use. Every three years the U.S. Copyright Office convenes a rulemaking to consider granting exemptions to the DMCA's ban on circumvention to mitigate the harms the law has caused to legitimate non-infringing uses of copyrighted materials.
In 2012 EFF sought to build on expand the exemptions won in the 2009 rulemaking. EFF asked the Copyright Office to protect the "jailbreaking" of smartphones, electronic tablets, and video game consoles. EFF also asked for legal protections for artists and critics who use excerpts from DVDs or downloading services to create new, remixed works. The Copyright Office renewed the exemption for smartphones, but did not extend it to other devices. The Copyright Office also reaffirmed the exemption for video remix, and expanded it to allow use of clips from online services.
In 2015 EFF is seeking six exemptions: Enabling security professionals to conduct research into the safety and security of vehicles; Allowing automobile owners to circumvent restrictions to repair and personalize their vehicles; Legal protections for circumventing DRM to extract clips to create new and remixed audiovisual works from streaming sources; "Jailbreaking" of mobile computing devices such as smartphones and tablets to enable interoperability and remove unwanted software; Circumventing DRM in DVDs and Blu-Ray discs to extract clips; Enabling users to circumvent DRM to restore access to games abandoned by their developers.
EFF Related Content: DMCA Rulemaking
- San Francisco—On Thursday and Friday, May 12-13, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Legal Director Corynne McSherry will participate in public roundtable discussions about the effectiveness of safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ( DMCA ) at the United States Ninth Circuit James R. Browning...
- Date:Fri, 04/01/2016
- Date:Wed, 03/16/2016
- Have you ever bought music, movies, games, ebooks, or gadgets, only to discover later that the product had been deliberately limited with Digital Rights Management? We want to hear from you! We're preparing a petition to a government agency on fair labelling practices for DRM-restricted devices, products and services. DRM...
- Sometimes news events make your point better than you ever could. That was the case this year as we completed the triennial rulemaking cycle of requesting exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's (DMCA)'s restrictions on circumventing DRM. The process of requesting an exemption...