2012 DMCA Rulemaking

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibits "circumventing" digital rights management (DRM) and other "technological 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 the 2012 rulemaking, EFF asked the Copyright Office to protect the "jailbreaking" of smartphones, electronic tablets, and video game consoles – liberating them to run operating systems and applications from any source, not just those approved by the manufacturer. EFF also asked for legal protections for artists and critics who use excerpts from DVDs or downloading services to create new, remixed works. These exemptions build on and expand exemptions that EFF won in the 2009 rulemaking proceeding for jailbreakers and remix artists.

In October 2012, the Copyright Office renewed the exemption for smartphones in their final rulemaking, 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.

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Op-ed from EFF's @ncardozo: if your business model depends on fooling customers, it deserves to fail https://eff.org/r.gjvi

Oct 6 @ 6:17pm

Facebook's name policy harms human rights activists, LGBTQ people, domestic violence survivors, and more.

Oct 6 @ 6:09pm

New Zealand confirms half the TPP countries will be forced to extend copyright term by 20 years. We have to stop it. https://eff.org/r.oygk

Oct 6 @ 3:37pm
JavaScript license information