Press Release

Public Knowledge Welcomes Sen. Wyden’s Proposal to Reform Digital Millennium Copyright Act

April 16, 2015 , , ,

Today, Senator Wyden (D-OR) introduced legislation to reform the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Public Knowledge supports the Senator’s Breaking Down Barriers to Innovation Act, which would address the problems posed by the DMCA’s triennial anticircumvention provisions that prevent the unlocking of digital devices even for lawful uses.

The following can be attributed to Sherwin Siy, Vice President of Legal Affairs at Public Knowledge:

“Over the course of the last few triennial cycles, it has become clear that the anticircumvention provisions of the DMCA have been applied in anticompetitive ways that were never intended, and that do nothing to combat actual copyright infringement. Furthermore, the law has prevented many individuals from making lawful fair uses of copyrighted works.

“Senator Wyden's bill would vastly improve this situation by fixing a number of lingering problems with the triennial rulemaking process designed to ease the burden that the law places on lawful users. By ensuring that those requesting exemptions do not need to meet a punishingly high burden of proof, and allowing past granted exemptions to be renewed more easily, the bill makes substantial strides to addressing the process problems that many, including the House IP Subcommittee, have recognized.

“The problems with the anticircumvention provisions are multifaceted, and no one bill will necessarily solve all of them. But the Breaking Down Barriers to Innovation Act is a vast improvement over the status quo, and its provisions should necessarily be a part of any further discussions of reform.”