Previous Section

§ 201.40 Exemptions to prohibition against circumvention.

(a) General. This section prescribes the classes of copyrighted works for which the Librarian of Congress has determined, pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1)(C) and (D), that noninfringing uses by persons who are users of such works are, or are likely to be, adversely affected. The prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works set forth in 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1)(A) shall not apply to such users of the prescribed classes of copyrighted works.

(b) Classes of copyrighted works. Pursuant to the authority set forth in 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1)(C) and (D), and upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, the Librarian has determined that the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that effectively control access to copyrighted works set forth in 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1)(A) shall not apply to persons who engage in noninfringing uses of the following classes of copyrighted works:

(1) Motion pictures (including television shows and videos), as defined in 17 U.S.C. 101, where the motion picture is lawfully made and acquired on a DVD protected by the Content Scramble System, on a Blu-ray disc protected by the Advanced Access Content System, or via a digital transmission protected by a technological measure, and the person engaging in circumvention under paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and (b)(1)(ii)(A) and (B) of this section reasonably believes that non-circumventing alternatives are unable to produce the required level of high-quality content, or the circumvention is undertaken using screen-capture technology that appears to be offered to the public as enabling the reproduction of motion pictures after content has been lawfully acquired and decrypted, where circumvention is undertaken solely in order to make use of short portions of the motion pictures in the following instances:

(i) For the purpose of criticism or comment:

(A) For use in documentary filmmaking, or other films where the motion picture clip is used in parody or for its biographical or historically significant nature;

(B) For use in noncommercial videos (including videos produced for a paid commission if the commissioning entity's use is noncommercial); or

(C) For use in nonfiction multimedia e-books.

(ii) For educational purposes:

(A) By college and university faculty and students or kindergarten through twelfth-grade (K-12) educators and students (where the K-12 student is circumventing under the direct supervision of an educator), or employees acting at the direction of faculty of such educational institutions for the purpose of teaching a course, including of accredited general educational development (GED) programs, for the purpose of criticism, comment, teaching, or scholarship;

(B) By faculty of accredited nonprofit educational institutions and employees acting at the direction of faculty members of those institutions, for purposes of offering massive open online courses (MOOCs) to officially enrolled students through online platforms (which platforms themselves may be operated for profit), in film studies or other courses requiring close analysis of film and media excerpts, for the purpose of criticism or comment, where the MOOC provider through the online platform limits transmissions to the extent technologically feasible to such officially enrolled students, institutes copyright policies and provides copyright informational materials to faculty, students, and relevant staff members, and applies technological measures that reasonably prevent unauthorized further dissemination of a work in accessible form to others or retention of the work for longer than the course session by recipients of a transmission through the platform, as contemplated by 17 U.S.C. 110(2); or

(C) By educators and participants in nonprofit digital and media literacy programs offered by libraries, museums, and other nonprofit entities with an educational mission, in the course of face-to-face instructional activities, for the purpose of criticism or comment, except that such users may only circumvent using screen-capture technology that appears to be offered to the public as enabling the reproduction of motion pictures after content has been lawfully acquired and decrypted.

(2)

(i) Motion pictures (including television shows and videos), as defined in 17 U.S.C. 101, where the motion picture is lawfully acquired on a DVD protected by the Content Scramble System, on a Blu-ray disc protected by the Advanced Access Content System, or via a digital transmission protected by a technological measure, where:

(A) Circumvention is undertaken by a disability services office or other unit of a kindergarten through twelfth-grade educational institution, college, or university engaged in and/or responsible for the provision of accessibility services for the purpose of adding captions and/or audio description to a motion picture to create an accessible version for students, faculty, or staff with disabilities;

(B) The educational institution unit in paragraph (b)(2)(i)(A) of this section has a reasonable belief that the motion picture will be used for a specific future activity of the institution and, after a reasonable effort, has determined that an accessible version of sufficient quality cannot be obtained at a fair market price or in a timely manner, including where a copyright holder has not provided an accessible version of a motion picture that was included with a textbook; and

(C) The accessible versions are provided to students or educators and stored by the educational institution in a manner intended to reasonably prevent unauthorized further dissemination of a work.

(ii) For purposes of paragraph (b)(2) of this section,

(A) “Audio description” means an oral narration that provides an accurate rendering of the motion picture;

(B) “Accessible version of sufficient quality” means a version that in the reasonable judgment of the educational institution unit has captions and/or audio description that are sufficient to meet the accessibility needs of students, faculty, or staff with disabilities and are substantially free of errors that would materially interfere with those needs; and

(C) Accessible materials created pursuant to this exemption and stored pursuant to paragraph (b)(2)(i)(C) of this section may be reused by the educational institution unit to meet the accessibility needs of students, faculty, or staff with disabilities pursuant to paragraphs (b)(2)(i)(A) and (B) of this section.

(3)

(i) Motion pictures (including television shows and videos), as defined in 17 U.S.C. 101, where the motion picture is lawfully acquired on a DVD protected by the Content Scramble System, or on a Blu-ray disc protected by the Advanced Access Content System, solely for the purpose of lawful preservation or the creation of a replacement copy of the motion picture, by an eligible library, archives, or museum, where:

(A) Such activity is carried out without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage;

(B) The DVD or Blu-ray disc is damaged or deteriorating;

(C) The eligible institution, after a reasonable effort, has determined that an unused and undamaged replacement copy cannot be obtained at a fair price and that no streaming service, download service, or on-demand cable and satellite service makes the motion picture available to libraries, archives, and museums at a fair price; and

(D) The preservation or replacement copies are not distributed or made available outside of the physical premises of the eligible library, archives, or museum.

(ii) For purposes of paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section, a library, archives, or museum is considered “eligible” if -

(A) The collections of the library, archives, or museum are open to the public and/or are routinely made available to researchers who are not affiliated with the library, archives, or museum;

(B) The library, archives, or museum has a public service mission;

(C) The library, archives, or museum's trained staff or volunteers provide professional services normally associated with libraries, archives, or museums;

(D) The collections of the library, archives, or museum are composed of lawfully acquired and/or licensed materials; and

(E) The library, archives, or museum implements reasonable digital security measures as appropriate for the activities permitted by paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section.

(4)

(i) Motion pictures, as defined in 17 U.S.C. 101, where the motion picture is on a DVD protected by the Content Scramble System, on a Blu-ray disc protected by the Advanced Access Content System, or made available for digital download where:

(A) The circumvention is undertaken by a researcher affiliated with a nonprofit institution of higher education, or by a student or information technology staff member of the institution at the direction of such researcher, solely to deploy text and data mining techniques on a corpus of motion pictures for the purpose of scholarly research and teaching;

(B) The copy of each motion picture is lawfully acquired and owned by the institution, or licensed to the institution without a time limitation on access;

(C) The person undertaking the circumvention views or listens to the contents of the motion pictures in the corpus solely for the purpose of verification of the research findings; and

(D) The institution uses effective security measures to prevent further dissemination or downloading of motion pictures in the corpus, and to limit access to only the persons identified in paragraph (b)(4)(i)(A) of this section or to researchers affiliated with other institutions of higher education solely for purposes of collaboration or replication of the research.

(ii) For purposes of paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section:

(A) An institution of higher education is defined as one that:

(1) Admits regular students who have a certificate of graduation from a secondary school or the equivalent of such a certificate;

(2) Is legally authorized to provide a postsecondary education program;

(3) Awards a bachelor's degree or provides not less than a two-year program acceptable towards such a degree;

(4) Is a public or other nonprofit institution; and

(5) Is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association.

(B) The term “effective security measures” means security measures that have been agreed to by interested copyright owners of motion pictures and institutions of higher education; or, in the absence of such measures, those measures that the institution uses to keep its own highly confidential information secure. If the institution uses the security measures it uses to protect its own highly confidential information, it must, upon a reasonable request from a copyright owner whose work is contained in the corpus, provide information to that copyright owner regarding the nature of such measures.

(5)

(i) Literary works, excluding computer programs and compilations that were compiled specifically for text and data mining purposes, distributed electronically where:

(A) The circumvention is undertaken by a researcher affiliated with a nonprofit institution of higher education, or by a student or information technology staff member of the institution at the direction of such researcher, solely to deploy text and data mining techniques on a corpus of literary works for the purpose of scholarly research and teaching;

(B) The copy of each literary work is lawfully acquired and owned by the institution, or licensed to the institution without a time limitation on access;

(C) The person undertaking the circumvention views the contents of the literary works in the corpus solely for the purpose of verification of the research findings; and

(D) The institution uses effective security measures to prevent further dissemination or downloading of literary works in the corpus, and to limit access to only the persons identified in paragraph (b)(5)(i)(A) of this section or to researchers or to researchers affiliated with other institutions of higher education solely for purposes of collaboration or replication of the research.

(ii) For purposes of paragraph (b)(5)(i) of this section:

(A) An institution of higher education is defined as one that:

(1) Admits regular students who have a certificate of graduation from a secondary school or the equivalent of such a certificate;

(2) Is legally authorized to provide a postsecondary education program;

(3) Awards a bachelor's degree or provides not less than a two-year program acceptable towards such a degree;

(4) Is a public or other nonprofit institution; and

(5) Is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association.

(B) The term “effective security measures” means security measures that have been agreed to by interested copyright owners of literary works and institutions of higher education; or, in the absence of such measures, those measures that the institution uses to keep its own highly confidential information secure. If the institution uses the security measures it uses to protect its own highly confidential information, it must, upon a reasonable request from a copyright owner whose work is contained in the corpus, provide information to that copyright owner regarding the nature of such measures.

(6)

(i) Literary works or previously published musical works that have been fixed in the form of text or notation, distributed electronically, that are protected by technological measures that either prevent the enabling of read-aloud functionality or interfere with screen readers or other applications or assistive technologies:

(A) When a copy or phonorecord of such a work is lawfully obtained by an eligible person, as such a person is defined in 17 U.S.C. 121; provided, however, that the rights owner is remunerated, as appropriate, for the market price of an inaccessible copy of the work as made available to the general public through customary channels; or

(B) When such a work is lawfully obtained and used by an authorized entity pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 121.

(ii) For the purposes of paragraph (b)(6)(i) of this section, a “phonorecord of such a work” does not include a sound recording of a performance of a musical work unless and only to the extent the recording is included as part of an audiobook or e-book.

(7) Literary works consisting of compilations of data generated by medical devices or by their personal corresponding monitoring systems, where such circumvention is undertaken by or on behalf of a patient for the sole purpose of lawfully accessing data generated by a patient's own medical device or monitoring system. Eligibility for this exemption is not a safe harbor from, or defense to, liability under other applicable laws, including without limitation the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, or regulations of the Food and Drug Administration.

(8) Computer programs that enable wireless devices to connect to a wireless telecommunications network, when circumvention is undertaken solely in order to connect to a wireless telecommunications network and such connection is authorized by the operator of such network.

(9) Computer programs that enable smartphones and portable all-purpose mobile computing devices to execute lawfully obtained software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications with computer programs on the smartphone or device, or to permit removal of software from the smartphone or device. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(9), a “portable all-purpose mobile computing device” is a device that is primarily designed to run a wide variety of programs rather than for consumption of a particular type of media content, is equipped with an operating system primarily designed for mobile use, and is intended to be carried or worn by an individual.

(10) Computer programs that enable smart televisions to execute lawfully obtained software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications with computer programs on the smart television, and is not accomplished for the purpose of gaining unauthorized access to other copyrighted works. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(10), “smart televisions” includes both internet-enabled televisions, as well as devices that are physically separate from a television and whose primary purpose is to run software applications that stream authorized video from the internet for display on a screen.

(11) Computer programs that enable voice assistant devices to execute lawfully obtained software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications with computer programs on the device, or to permit removal of software from the device, and is not accomplished for the purpose of gaining unauthorized access to other copyrighted works. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(11), a “voice assistant device” is a device that is primarily designed to run a wide variety of programs rather than for consumption of a particular type of media content, is designed to take user input primarily by voice, and is designed to be installed in a home or office.

(12) Computer programs that enable routers and dedicated network devices to execute lawfully obtained software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications with computer programs on the router or dedicated network device, and is not accomplished for the purpose of gaining unauthorized access to other copyrighted works. For the purposes of this paragraph (b)(12), “dedicated network device” includes switches, hubs, bridges, gateways, modems, repeaters, and access points, and excludes devices that are not lawfully owned.

(13) Computer programs that are contained in and control the functioning of a lawfully acquired motorized land vehicle or marine vessel such as a personal automobile or boat, commercial vehicle or vessel, or mechanized agricultural vehicle or vessel, except for programs accessed through a separate subscription service, when circumvention is a necessary step to allow the diagnosis, repair, or lawful modification of a vehicle or vessel function, where such circumvention is not accomplished for the purpose of gaining unauthorized access to other copyrighted works. Eligibility for this exemption is not a safe harbor from, or defense to, liability under other applicable laws, including without limitation regulations promulgated by the Department of Transportation or the Environmental Protection Agency.

(14) Computer programs that are contained in and control the functioning of a lawfully acquired device that is primarily designed for use by consumers, when circumvention is a necessary step to allow the diagnosis, maintenance, or repair of such a device, and is not accomplished for the purpose of gaining access to other copyrighted works. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(14):

(i) The “maintenance” of a device is the servicing of the device in order to make it work in accordance with its original specifications and any changes to those specifications authorized for that device; and

(ii) The “repair” of a device is the restoring of the device to the state of working in accordance with its original specifications and any changes to those specifications authorized for that device. For video game consoles, “repair” is limited to repair or replacement of a console's optical drive and requires restoring any technological protection measures that were circumvented or disabled.

(15) Computer programs that are contained in and control the functioning of a lawfully acquired medical device or system, and related data files, when circumvention is a necessary step to allow the diagnosis, maintenance, or repair of such a device or system. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(15):

(i) The “maintenance” of a device or system is the servicing of the device or system in order to make it work in accordance with its original specifications and any changes to those specifications authorized for that device or system; and

(ii) The “repair” of a device or system is the restoring of the device or system to the state of working in accordance with its original specifications and any changes to those specifications authorized for that device or system.

(16)

(i) Computer programs, where the circumvention is undertaken on a lawfully acquired device or machine on which the computer program operates, or is undertaken on a computer, computer system, or computer network on which the computer program operates with the authorization of the owner or operator of such computer, computer system, or computer network, solely for the purpose of good-faith security research.

(ii) For purposes of paragraph (b)(16)(i) of this section, “good-faith security research” means accessing a computer program solely for purposes of good-faith testing, investigation, and/or correction of a security flaw or vulnerability, where such activity is carried out in an environment designed to avoid any harm to individuals or the public, and where the information derived from the activity is used primarily to promote the security or safety of the class of devices or machines on which the computer program operates, or those who use such devices or machines, and is not used or maintained in a manner that facilitates copyright infringement.

(iii) Good-faith security research that qualifies for the exemption under paragraph (b)(16)(i) of this section may nevertheless incur liability under other applicable laws, including without limitation the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, as amended and codified in title 18, United States Code, and eligibility for that exemption is not a safe harbor from, or defense to, liability under other applicable laws.

(17)

(i) Video games in the form of computer programs embodied in physical or downloaded formats that have been lawfully acquired as complete games, when the copyright owner or its authorized representative has ceased to provide access to an external computer server necessary to facilitate an authentication process to enable gameplay, solely for the purpose of:

(A) Permitting access to the video game to allow copying and modification of the computer program to restore access to the game for personal, local gameplay on a personal computer or video game console; or

(B) Permitting access to the video game to allow copying and modification of the computer program to restore access to the game on a personal computer or video game console when necessary to allow preservation of the game in a playable form by an eligible library, archives, or museum, where such activities are carried out without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage and the video game is not distributed or made available outside of the physical premises of the eligible library, archives, or museum.

(ii) Video games in the form of computer programs embodied in physical or downloaded formats that have been lawfully acquired as complete games, that do not require access to an external computer server for gameplay, and that are no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace, solely for the purpose of preservation of the game in a playable form by an eligible library, archives, or museum, where such activities are carried out without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage and the video game is not distributed or made available outside of the physical premises of the eligible library, archives, or museum.

(iii) Computer programs used to operate video game consoles solely to the extent necessary for an eligible library, archives, or museum to engage in the preservation activities described in paragraph (b)(17)(i)(B) or (b)(17)(ii) of this section.

(iv) For purposes of this paragraph (b)(17), the following definitions shall apply:

(A) For purposes of paragraphs (b)(17)(i)(A) and (b)(17)(ii) of this section, “complete games” means video games that can be played by users without accessing or reproducing copyrightable content stored or previously stored on an external computer server.

(B) For purposes of paragraph (b)(17)(i)(B) of this section, “complete games” means video games that meet the definition in paragraph (b)(17)(iv)(A) of this section, or that consist of both a copy of a game intended for a personal computer or video game console and a copy of the game's code that was stored or previously stored on an external computer server.

(C) “Ceased to provide access” means that the copyright owner or its authorized representative has either issued an affirmative statement indicating that external server support for the video game has ended and such support is in fact no longer available or, alternatively, server support has been discontinued for a period of at least six months; provided, however, that server support has not since been restored.

(D) “Local gameplay” means gameplay conducted on a personal computer or video game console, or locally connected personal computers or consoles, and not through an online service or facility.

(E) A library, archives, or museum is considered “eligible” if -

(1) The collections of the library, archives, or museum are open to the public and/or are routinely made available to researchers who are not affiliated with the library, archives, or museum;

(2) The library, archives, or museum has a public service mission;

(3) The library, archives, or museum's trained staff or volunteers provide professional services normally associated with libraries, archives, or museums;

(4) The collections of the library, archives, or museum are composed of lawfully acquired and/or licensed materials; and

(5) The library, archives, or museum implements reasonable digital security measures as appropriate for the activities permitted by this paragraph (b)(17).

(18)

(i) Computer programs, except video games, that have been lawfully acquired and that are no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace, solely for the purpose of lawful preservation of a computer program, or of digital materials dependent upon a computer program as a condition of access, by an eligible library, archives, or museum, where such activities are carried out without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage. Any electronic distribution, display, or performance made outside of the physical premises of an eligible library, archives, or museum of works preserved under this paragraph may be made to only one user at a time, for a limited time, and only where the library, archives, or museum has no notice that the copy would be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.

(ii) For purposes of the exemption in paragraph (b)(18)(i) of this section, a library, archives, or museum is considered “eligible” if -

(A) The collections of the library, archives, or museum are open to the public and/or are routinely made available to researchers who are not affiliated with the library, archives, or museum;

(B) The library, archives, or museum has a public service mission;

(C) The library, archives, or museum's trained staff or volunteers provide professional services normally associated with libraries, archives, or museums;

(D) The collections of the library, archives, or museum are composed of lawfully acquired and/or licensed materials; and

(E) The library, archives, or museum implements reasonable digital security measures as appropriate for the activities permitted by this paragraph (b)(18).

(19) Computer programs that operate 3D printers that employ technological measures to limit the use of material, when circumvention is accomplished solely for the purpose of using alternative material and not for the purpose of accessing design software, design files, or proprietary data.

(20) Computer programs, solely for the purpose of investigating a potential infringement of free and open source computer programs where:

(i) The circumvention is undertaken on a lawfully acquired device or machine other than a video game console, on which the computer program operates;

(ii) The circumvention is performed by, or at the direction of, a party that has a good-faith, reasonable belief in the need for the investigation and has standing to bring a breach of license or copyright infringement claim;

(iii) Such circumvention does not constitute a violation of applicable law; and

(iv) The copy of the computer program, or the device or machine on which it operates, is not used or maintained in a manner that facilitates copyright infringement.

(21) Video games in the form of computer programs, embodied in lawfully acquired physical or downloaded formats, and operated on a general-purpose computer, where circumvention is undertaken solely for the purpose of allowing an individual with a physical disability to use software or hardware input methods other than a standard keyboard or mouse.

(c) Persons who may initiate circumvention. To the extent authorized under paragraph (b) of this section, the circumvention of a technological measure that restricts wireless telephone handsets or other wireless devices from connecting to a wireless telecommunications network may be initiated by the owner of any such handset or other device, by another person at the direction of the owner, or by a provider of a commercial mobile radio service or a commercial mobile data service at the direction of such owner or other person, solely in order to enable such owner or a family member of such owner to connect to a wireless telecommunications network, when such connection is authorized by the operator of such network.

[65 FR 64574, Oct. 27, 2000, as amended at 68 FR 62018, Oct. 31, 2003; 71 FR 68479, Nov. 27, 2006; 74 FR 55139, Oct. 27, 2009; 75 FR 43839, July 27, 2010; 75 FR 47465, Aug. 6, 2010; 77 FR 65278, Oct. 26, 2012; 79 FR 50553, Aug. 25, 2014; 80 FR 65961, Oct. 28, 2015; 83 FR 54028, Oct. 26, 2018; 86 FR 59637, Oct. 28, 2021]


Source: GPO Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) (ecfr.gov)
Data current as of 09/22/2022