October 12, 2002

DMCA exemptions rulemaking

It's DMCA exemption rulemaking time again.

The Copyright Office is preparing to conduct rulemaking proceedings mandated by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which provides that the Librarian of Congress may exempt certain classes of works from the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. The purpose of this proceeding is to determine whether there are particular classes of works as to which users are, or are likely to be, adversely affected in their ability to make noninfringing uses due to the prohibition on circumvention. This page will contain links to published documents in this proceeding.

Last time, I was one of the people who persuaded the Librarian of Congress to grant one of two exemptions, for censorware.

But the exemptions only hold for three years each time, and now we have to do it all over again:

There is a presumption that the prohibition will apply to any and all classes of works, including those as to which an exemption of applicability was previously in effect, unless a new showing is made that an exemption is warranted. Final Reg., 65 FR 64556, 64558. Exemptions are reviewed de novo and prior exemptions will expire unless the case is made in the rulemaking proceeding that the prohibition has or will more likely than not have an adverse effect on noninfringing uses. A prior argument that resulted in an exemption may be less persuasive within the context of the marketplace in the next 3-year period. Similarly, proposals that were not found to warrant an exemption in the last rulemaking could find factual support in the present rulemaking.

Amusingly, the last time around they said in part (emphasis added)

A number of commenters urged that a broader encryption research exemption is needed than is contained in section 1201(g). See, e.g., C185, C30, R55, R70. Dissatisfaction was expressed with the restrictiveness of the requirement to attempt to secure the copyright owner's permission before circumventing. C153. See 17 U.S.C. 1201(g)(2)(C). Most of the references to statutory deficiencies regarding encryption research, however, merely state that the provisions are too narrow. See, e.g., PH20.

That last reference was me. Wow, can I give them examples this time!

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in legal | on October 12, 2002 11:55 PM (Infothought permalink)

Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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