Library of Congress opens DMCA exemption comment period

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” The Copyright Office of the US Library of Congress has formally announced an open comment period to solicit evidence from “interested parties” regarding whether the prohibition on circumvention clause of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has an adverse effect on legal, non-infringing use of copyrighted works. Anyone may submit comments via forms on the Copyright Office Web site between November 2 and December 1. All comments will be made public”

The DMCA represents the last major upgrade to copyright law, and among other things makes it illegal to circumvent any type of copy protection placed on copyrighted material, regardless of whether you have fair use rights to copy the software or not.
This restriction makes illegal (among other things):
Using a felt tip pen to get around certain types of music disk copy protection.
Making copies of DVDs you own.
Backing up or making copies of purchased DVDs for library or archival use.
Putting a box on your TV to allow your DVD player to play through the coax.

The list goes on and the real kicker is that these restrictions can absolutely trivial, but as long as they are copy protections they are protected under the DMCA. This comment period is basically a time for people to submit suggestions for exemptions to the DMCA. You can view a list of notable exemptions in the article as well as links to information about submitting and the work the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ALA have done.

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