Dear Friend of Digital Freedom,
Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) makes it illegal to circumvent digital locks (also known as DRM). This law holds back the work of security researchers and repair companies. It forces us to rely on manufacturers for repairs rather than a local business we trust, and it makes all of us more vulnerable to security holes in the products we buy.
After 18 years, we finally have a window to bring real reform to DMCA 1201. But we need your help.
When the DMCA passed in 1998, the DRM landscape seemed very different from today. Section 1201 was intended to stop copyright “pirates.” In practice, DMCA 1201 has had very little impact on unauthorized sharing of copyrighted content. Instead, it’s hampered lawful creativity, innovation, competition, security, and privacy.
The U.S. Copyright Office seems to have taken notice. It’s asking for feedback on a new proposal for a set of permanent exemptions to DMCA 1201, including for security research and repair.
EFF still believes that DMCA 1201 is unconstitutional. Given the pace at which technology evolves, there’s no way that a set of exemptions can ever keep up with the plethora of otherwise legal activities that the law calls into question. Under 1201, users’ rights will always lag behind technology.
But the Copyright Office’s recommendations are a promising move in the right direction. We can use this opportunity to show both the Copyright Office and lawmakers that 1201’s legal reinforcement of digital locks impacts all of us.
Please join us in telling the Copyright Office that copyright law shouldn’t undermine our right to repair.
Electronic Frontier Foundation