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CR comments to Copyright Office supporting clarification or expansion of pro-consumer exemptions from section 1201 of Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Description: CR submitted comments to the Copyright Office in its current round of its “Triennial Review” under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA), in which it considers proposals to exempt particular kinds of accessing and altering of software in products, to adapt their use in ways that do not infringe on any underlying copyright. This exemption process is a safety valve created by Congress to help ensure that the DMCA’s prohibition against accessing and altering software does not block legitimate adaptations of products. In September we commented in support of renewing various exemptions. We are now commenting in support of clarifying or expanding certain exemptions that benefit consumers.

For many years, Consumer Reports has led the effort to obtain and renew the exemption to permit the “unlocking” of mobile phones and other personal wireless devices so consumers can choose which wireless network they will subscribe to, thus promoting competition, consumer choice, and sustainability.

The comments filed support re-clarifying or expanding the following exemptions:

•Unlocking mobile phones and other personal wireless devices, to include all devices and equipment that connects to a wireless network

“Jailbreaking” wireless devices to enable them to interoperate with software applications, to also apply to streaming devices and routers

Enabling repair of electronic devices, to include all devices that are software-enabled

Security research to identify vulnerabilities in electronic equipment so they can be fixed, to include disabling functionalities that allow the device to access personal information

Permitting use of alternative “feedstock” in 3D printers, to clarify that it applies to all 3D printers, not just microchip-enabled ones

Permitting consumers to access the data generated by their own implanted medical devices, to include devices that are not implanted or worn by the consumer