New exceptions to DCMA anti-circumvention rules

December 2006

All areas

The US Library of Congress has approved six exceptions to the rules against decryption of technological protection measures in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. These include (a) allowing users of mobile phones to break software which locks their handsets in with a particular network (b) allowing academics to break locks on DVDs to obtain film snippets which will be used for teaching compilations and (c) allowing blind people use special software to read copy-protected electronic books. The changes do not include the now much debated ‘personal use’ exception which would allow consumers to legally de-encrypt security protection on their own CDs so contents to be copied on to personal MP3 players. The new exceptions will expire after three years.

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