April 16, 2015

Wyden, Polis Introduce Breaking Down Barriers to Innovation Act to Modernize Outdated Copyright Laws

Bill Expands Exemptions to Copyright Controls; Boosts Security Research, Journalism and Fair Use of Copyrighted Works

Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Representative Jared Polis, D-Colo., today introduced a bill to boost security research, journalism and freedom of expression by reforming outdated provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

“The DMCA’s copyright restrictions make us more vulnerable to cyberattacks and stifle innovation,” Wyden said. “Today Rep. Polis and I introduced the Breaking Down Barriers to Innovation Act. It reforms a bad law that inhibits technological innovation. It’s a first step towards bringing copyright into the 21st century.”

“I’m glad to partner with Senator Ron Wyden on a bill to unleash creative innovation by updating critical Copyright exemptions,” Polis said. “The Breaking Down Barriers to Innovation Act makes sensible reforms to an antiquated law, reforms that will benefit journalism, research, privacy rights, and freedom of expression.”

The DMCA bars the circumvention of access controls and technological protection measures (TPMs) that protect copyrighted works.  However, those access controls and TPMs impede many legitimate activities, including security research, journalism and the repair and maintenance of personal devices. Furthermore, they often pose a barrier to creating accessible versions of e-books and other materials for those with impaired vision and other disabilities.   

By expanding the availability of exemptions, the Breaking Down Barriers to Innovation Act promotes scientific research and freedom of expression and breaks down barriers to the fair use of copyrighted works.

Learn more here: www.wyden.senate.gov/priorities/breaking-down-barriers-to-innovation