October 27, 2015

Wyden: DMCA Exemptions Process is Broken

Time to Reform DMCA, Wyden Says; Copyright Office Deserves Credit for Recognizing Some Legitimate Exemptions to Copyright

Washington, D.C. – Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said today’s ruling on exemptions of Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) include positive steps, but emphasized that the DMCA exemptions process must be reformed to keep up with the speed of today’s innovations. This ruling concludes the sixth triennial Section 1201 rulemaking proceeding.

“I am pleased that the ruling recognizes many legitimate and valuable activities, such as security research of software in the devices we use every day – from cars to pacemakers,” Wyden said.

 “But, the fact remains that no matter how many exemptions are granted, the process for granting exemptions to the DMCA is broken. For example, a review every three years simply does not keep up with the pace of innovation and places burdens on users who have to repeatedly ask permission for the same activity. Congress must bring copyright into the 21st century and make common-sense reforms to the triennial review process. The Breaking Down Barriers to Innovation Act by Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., and I would do just that.”

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed at the beginning of this month, Wyden called on the Copyright Office to stand up to bureaucratic overreach and grant the exemptions that allow us to better understand and improve the devices we use every day.