As sure as the fall follows summer, and the sun rises in the east, the sixth triennial DMCA Section 1201 exemption process resulted in the rejection of our request for an exemption for creating private copies of DVDs and Blu Ray discs (DVD/BRDs). Consumers have long sought exemptions for private copying of DVDs, and more recently Blu Ray discs, for purposes ranging from Linux compatibility, to putting videos on home media servers, to making back-up copies in case discs get scratched, to watching them on devices lacking optical drives, like tablets, smartphones, and most modern laptops.
On today's podcast, Sherwin Siy and Kerry Sheehan explain last week's Section 1201 decisions on digital lock exemptions from the Library of Congress, and what this means for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
In November 2014, Public Knowledge petitioned the Copyright Office for a number of exemptions to the prohibition against circumventing technological protection measures (i.e. “digital locks”) protecting copyrighted works under Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
With the new anticircumvention rules from the Library of Congress, it’s now legal under copyright law for patients to bypass digital locks on their medical devices so they can access the data stored on them. That’s significant progress for people like Ben West (who not only develops software to get patients’ glucose monitors to talk to their devices, but also uses it on his own) and Hugo Campos (who wants to keep getting data off of his implanted heart monitor). It’s a moment worth celebrating.