We’re Asking Congress to Fix the DMCA

March 28, 2013 , ,

Today, we sent a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, asking them to pass a strong, permanent fix to the cell phone unlocking problem, and to take a deeper look at the problems caused by the anticircumvention provisions of the DMCA. The letter, available here, is signed by over thirty consumer groups, companies, and online communities, and joined by a number of academics and activists.

We want to make sure that all of the people who were upset that the DMCA could prevent them from unlocking their phones get a solution that actually fixes the problem by changing the law, not just reversing the Library of Congress’s decision and waiting for a do-over a few years from now. The uncertainty of the whole process suggests that we need to fix the law—first for cell phones, but also for others as well.

That’s why we’re also asking for Congress to hold hearings on the anticircumvention provisions of the DMCA—the parts of the law that say you can’t break digital locks to get at copyrighted works—and take a good hard look at the problems that they can cause. As examples of the consumer barriers and anticompetitive practices made possible by this law pile up, Congress needs to hear firsthand of these problems and make the changes necessary to prevent this from happening again and again, in other markets and for other consumers.