Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee On the Library of Congress’s Anti-Circumvention Rulemaking

[The Library of Congress Tuesday released the results of its triennial review to establish exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) prohibition on circumventing technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. The exemptions announced today cover a range of activities, from repairing farm equipment to using motion pictures in film studies classes.  Among the exemptions granted are those that allow “unlocking” of wireless telephones and other wireless devices to allow consumers to use their devices on the networks of their choice; a move urged by Congress in legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and signed into law by President Obama in 2014.

Leahy joined with Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) last week to request the Copyright Office undertake a comprehensive study of the role copyright law plays in defining how software-enabled products can be used.]

“Copyrighted software plays an ever-increasing role in our daily lives.  Consumers rightly want to know how they can use software-enabled products without running afoul of the law, which is why Senator Grassley and I have asked the Copyright Office to study this critical issue.  Today’s announcement recognizes several important exemptions that will help users access technologies and content in a way that works for them.  The rule also builds on the work we did last Congress and will enable consumers to connect not only their smartphones, but also their tablets and devices, to the network of their choice.”


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