Copyright Office Invites Public Comment on DMCA

The DMCAis controversial prohibition on circumventing copy protection technologies is, once again, up for public comment. According to the Library of Congressi Copyright Office, the comments are requested as part of the DMCAis mandatory reviews process. The comments will be used to help determine whether the prohibitions are adversely affecting legitimate activities, such as criticism, research and news, and will also look at "the effect of circumvention of technological measures on the market for or value of copyrighted works."

Currently, there are only two exemptions to the prohibited technology: where a researcher is examining iblacklisti filters, and where an obsolete method of copy protection has been used, preventing one from using legitimate tools to decrypt the content. In an article yesterday, ZDNet made note of the fact that these exemptions will expire in October of next year, and that any new rules arising from this decision-making process will not have a broad or practical application to those of us outside the research and reporting circles.

Comments were being accepted as of last Tuesday, November 19th, and will be accepted through to December 18th. The commenting process is open to all members of the public, but comments must be submitted in the correct format and with evidence to show that the exemptions you suggest are valid. You can read ZDNetis coverage in full, and view the Copyright Officeis notice of inquiry. Comments can be submitted online with the Copyright Officeis comments submission form.