Section 1201 Exemptions to Prohibition Against Circumvention of Technological Measures Protecting Copyrighted Works

Sixth Triennial Section 1201 Proceeding, 2015 Cycle


The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), codified in part in 17 U.S.C. § 1201, makes it illegal to circumvent technological measures used to prevent unauthorized access to copyrighted works, including copyrighted books, movies, videos, video games, computer programs. Section 1201, however, also instructs the Librarian of Congress to make determinations in a rulemaking proceeding every three years, upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, evaluating and, as appropriate, adopting limited exemptions from the general prohibition against circumvention of access controls.

The Copyright Office has concluded the sixth triennial rulemaking proceeding pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 1201. This page contains links to the Register's Recommendation, the Final Rule (Public Inspection) announcing the exemptions, and a document addressing Frequently Asked Questions about the rulemaking. An Introduction to the Register’s Recommendation summarizes the exemptions and the rulemaking process.

The record of the 2015 proceeding, including the written submissions, hearing transcripts, etc., may be accessed through the links on the right-hand side of this page.

For all inquiries, please contact the Copyright Office’s Public Information Office at [email protected] or (202) 707-5959.

Past Proceedings

The records of the previous Section 1201 rulemakings are also available. The first rulemaking concluded in 2000. The second concluded in 2003, the third in 2006, the fourth in 2010, and the fifth in 2012.