U.S. Copyright Office Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Seventh Triennial Rulemaking Proceeding Under Section 1201
Issue No. 687 - October 26, 2017
The Copyright Office has published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the seventh triennial rulemaking proceeding under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), 17 U.S.C. § 1201. Section 1201 provides that the Librarian of Congress, upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, may exempt certain classes of works from the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works.
As set forth in its prior notice of inquiry, the Office established a new, streamlined procedure for the renewal of exemptions that were granted during the sixth triennial rulemaking. The Office has now reviewed all comments regarding current exemptions received in response to that notice. With this notice of proposed rulemaking, the Office concludes that it has received a sufficient petition to renew each existing exemption, and it does not find any meaningful opposition to renewal. Accordingly, the Office intends to recommend readoption of all existing exemptions.
In addition, the notice outlines proposed classes for exemptions for which the Office now initiates three rounds of public comment. In the first round of comments, which are due December 18, 2017, the Office seeks legal and evidentiary submissions from parties who support the adoption of a proposed exemption as well as parties that neither support nor oppose an exemption but seek to share pertinent information about a proposal. Responsive legal and evidentiary submissions from those who oppose the adoption of a proposed exemption are due February 12, 2018. Written reply comments from supporters of a proposed exemption and parties that neither support nor oppose a proposed exemption are due March 14, 2018.
Participants in the proceeding are encouraged to familiarize themselves with section 1201(a)(1) and the rulemaking requirements so they can maximize the effectiveness of their submissions. For more information, commenters should carefully review the notice of proposed rulemaking and submission instructions available at https://www.copyright.gov/1201/2018/. Additional background information about section 1201 is available at https://www.copyright.gov/1201/, which contains helpful resources, such as video tutorials, the Office’s recent policy study on section 1201, and links to prior rulemaking proceedings.