Eighth Triennial Section 1201 Proceeding (2021)


The Copyright Office has initiated the eighth triennial rulemaking proceeding under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), 17 U.S.C. § 1201, which provides that the Librarian of Congress, upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, may adopt temporary exemptions to section 1201’s prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. The ultimate goal of the proceeding is to determine whether there are particular classes of works as to which users are, or are likely to be in the next three years, adversely affected in their ability to make noninfringing uses due to the prohibition on circumventing access controls. When such classes are identified, the Librarian promulgates regulations exempting the classes from the prohibition for the succeeding three-year period.


The Office is again using a streamlined procedure for the renewal of exemptions that were granted during the seventh triennial rulemaking. If renewed, those current exemptions would remain in force for an additional three-year period (October 2021–October 2024).


Written petitions for renewal of current exemptions were due July 22, 2020, written comments in response to any petitions for renewal were due September 8, 2020, and written petitions proposing new exemptions were due September 8, 2020.


After the Copyright Office issues a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in this proceeding, interested parties will have the opportunity to support or oppose the proposed exemptions during several rounds of public comment. Further information will be available on this webpage as the rulemaking proceeding progresses.