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Statement of the Librarian of Congress Relating to Section 1201 Rulemaking

Sunday, January 1, 2006


The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998 requires the U.S. Copyright Office to periodically consider exemptions to its "anticircumvention" provisions. It is these provisions that effectively prevent instructors, researchers, and other consumers from "breaking" technological barriers to content, even for purposes that would be legitimate under fair use or other portions of copyright law. On November 27, the Copyright Office officially enacted six new exemptions, several of which are of direct relevance to colleges, universities, and libraries. Film professors, for example, may now bypass content locks to create compilations of audiovisual clips for classroom use. Other exemptions apply to the investigation of security flaws, archiving of content in obsolete formats, and content access for users with visual impairments.

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