[Federal Register: May 27, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 102)]

[Notices]               

[Page 28802-28803]





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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE



National Telecommunications and Information Administration



LIBRARY OF CONGRESS



Copy Right Office

[Docket No. 990428110-9110-01]

RIN 0660-ZA09



 

Request for Comments on Section 1201(g) of the Digital Millennium 

Copyright Act



AGENCIES: The National Telecommunications and Information 

Administration, United States Department of Commerce; and the United 

States Copyright Office, Library of Congress.



ACTION: Request for public comment.



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SUMMARY: The National Telecommunications and Information Administration 

of the United States Department of Commerce and the United States 

Copyright Office invite interested parties to submit comments on the 

effects of Section 1201(g) of Title 17, United States Code, as adopted 

in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Pub. L. No. 105-304, 112 Stat. 

2860 (Oct. 28, 1998) (``DMCA'') on encryption research and the 

development of encryption technology; the adequacy and effectiveness of 

technological measures designed to protect copyrighted works; and the 

protection of copyright owners against unauthorized access to their 

encrypted copyrighted works.

    The DMCA, enacted on October 28, 1998, directs the Register of 

Copyrights and the Assistant Secretary for Communications and 

Information of the Department of Commerce to prepare a report for the 

Congress examining the impact of Section 1201(g) on encryption research 

and including legislative recommendations--if any--no later than one 

year after enactment of the DMCA. This Federal Register Notice is 

intended to solicit comments from interested parties on the effects of 

section 1201(g) of the DMCA. More specifically, how will the provisions 

of section 1201(g) of the DMCA affect encryption research?

    The DMCA defines ``encryption research'' as identification and 

analysis of flaws and vulnerabilities of encryption technologies 

applied to copyrighted works. This activity must promote understanding 

of encryption technology or advance the development of encryption 

products.



DATES: Comments must be received by July 26, 1999.



ADDRESSES: The Department of Commerce and the Copyright Office invite 

the public to submit written comments in paper or electronic form. 

Comments may be mailed to Paula J. Bruening, Office of Chief Counsel, 

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Room 

4713, U.S. Department of



[[Page 28803]]



Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 

20230; and Jesse M. Feder, Office of Policy and International Affairs, 

U.S. Copyright Office, Copyright GC/I&R, P.O. Box 70400, Southwest 

Station, Washington, D.C. 20024. Paper submissions should include a 

version on diskette in PDF, ASCII, Word Perfect (please specify 

version), or Microsoft Word (please specify version) format. Comments 

should be sent to both the Department of Commerce and Copyright Office 

addresses.

    Comments submitted in electronic form should be sent to 

[email protected] and [email protected] Electronic comments should be 

submitted in the formats specified above and should be sent to both the 

Department of Congress and Copyright Office addresses.



FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paula J. Bruening, National 

Telecommunications and Information Administration (202) 482-1816; and 

Jesse M. Feder, Office of Policy and International Affairs, US 

Copyright Office, Library of Congress (202) 707-8350.



SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The National Telecommunications and 

Information Administration, United States Department of Commerce and 

the United States Copyright Office, Library of Congress invite 

interested parties to submit comments on the effects of the Digital 

Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) on encryption research and development 

of encryption technology; the adequacy and effectiveness of 

technological measures designed to protect copyrighted works; and, 

protection of copyright owners against unauthorized access to their 

encrypted copyrighted works.

    The objective of Title I of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 

was to revise U.S. copyright law to comply with two recent World 

Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Treaties and to strengthen 

copyright protection for motion pictures, sound recordings, computer 

software and other copyrighted works in electronic formats. The DMCA 

establishes a prohibition on the act of circumventing technological 

measures that effectively control access to a copyrighted work 

protected under the U.S. Copyright Act. The prohibition, found in 

Section 1201 of Title 17, U.S. Code, takes effect October 28, 2000, two 

years from the date of enactment of the DMCA.

    The DMCA also makes it illegal for a person to manufacture, import, 

offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, 

product, service, device, component or part thereof which is primarily 

designed or produced to circumvent a technological measure that 

effectively controls access to or unauthorized copying of a work 

protected by copyright, has only a limited commercially significant 

purpose or use other than circumvention of such measures, or marketed 

for use in circumventing such measures.

    Despite the general prohibitions of Section 1201, the DMCA permits 

certain specified activities that include the circumvention of access 

control technologies in limited circumstances. One such specified 

activity is good faith encryption research. The DMCA defines 

``encryption research'' as identification and analysis of flaws and 

vulnerabilities of encryption technologies applied to copyrighted 

works. This activity must promote understanding of encryption 

technology or advance the development of encryption products.

    The DMCA exempts from the general prohibition certain good faith 

activities of circumvention when: (a) The person circumventing the 

protection system lawfully obtained the encrypted copy of the work; (b) 

circumvention is necessary to conduct the encryption research; (c) the 

person circumventing the protection system made a good faith effort to 

obtain authorization prior to the circumvention; and, (d) such 

circumvention does not constitute copyright infringement or a violation 

of any otherwise applicable law. The DMCA also lists additional factors 

to be considered when determining whether a person qualifies for the 

exemption.

    The DMCA also includes several additional exemptions from the 

general prohibition or circumvention. One such exemption is for 

security testing. Section 1201(j) of Title 17, U.S. Code permits 

circumvention of access control technologies in order to test the 

effectiveness of a security measure. Comments on Subsection 1201(j), 

the exemption for ``security testing,'' and comments on exemptions 

other than the exemption for encryption research, are not being 

solicited by this Notice and will not be considered.

    Information collected from responses to this Federal Register 

Notice will be considered when preparing the required report for 

Congress.

Kathy D. Smith,

Acting Chief Counsel, National Telecommunications and Information 

Administration.

Marybeth Peters,

Register of Copyrights, United States Copyright Office.

[FR Doc. 99-13439 Filed 5-26-99; 8:45 am]

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