Welcome to Consumer Reports Advocacy

For 85 years CR has worked for laws and policies that put consumers first. Learn more about CR’s work with policymakers, companies, and consumers to help build a fair and just marketplace at TrustCR.org

CU comments supporting exemptions from section 1201 of Digital Millennium Copyright Act

SUMMARY: The following comments were submitted in the current “Triennial Review” under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, in which the Copyright Office 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.

Consumers Union has led the effort to obtain and renew the exemption to permit the “unlocking” of mobile phones and tablets so consumers can choose which wireless network they will subscribe to, thus promoting competition and consumer choice. These comments support various proposals to expand and add to other current exemptions, in keeping with the principle that when a consumer purchases a product, the consumer should obtain genuine ownership of the product and its parts, including the ability to make effective use of the product, and the ability to effectively resell it.

Read the full comments here:

Class 3 – Audiovisual Works – Space-Shifting

Class 5 – Computer Programs – Unlocking

Class 6 – Computer Programs – Jailbreaking

Class 7 – Computer Programs – Repair

Class 8 – Computer Programs – Video Game Preservation

Class 10 – Computer Programs – Security Research