This week, the U.S. Copyright Office submitted new exemptions to Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that relate to the repair of digital devices, including medical equipment. The new rules also loosen a 2015 exemption granting access to medical device data.
The US Copyright Office is expanding a legal shield for fixing digital devices, including cars and medical devices. [On October 27], the office submitted new exemptions to Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which bars breaking software copy protection. The resulting rules include a revamped section on device repair, reflecting renewed government pressure around “right to repair” issues.
The Register of Copyrights recommends Section 1201 “anti-circumvention” exemptions every three years, a process that has offered legal protections for everything from unlocking cellphones to ripping DVD clips for classroom use. In addition to renewing these and several other exemptions, this latest rulemaking adopts repair-related proposals from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, iFixit, and other organizations. The Librarian of Congress adopted the recommendations in a final rule that will take effect [October 28].
The exemptions replace an itemized list of repairable devices with broad protections for any consumer devices that rely on software to function, as well as land and sea vehicles and medical devices that aren’t consumer-focused. The rulemaking doesn’t rewrite the exemption to cover all non-consumer devices, and it doesn’t cover all “modification,” only “diagnosis, maintenance, and repair.”
Read the article in its entirety at The Verge.