Every three years the Librarian of Congress is required to review what works may be exempt from certain copyright laws. In a recent statement, the Librarian made six exceptions during this review period.
The exceptions are:
- Circumventing DRM (digital rights management) software on DVDs to use short pieces from them for the purpose of criticism or comment, mostly by college or university professors and students;
- Enabling wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications where the computer program is lawfully obtained (i.e. jailbreaking);
- Enabling wireless telephone handsets to be used on a different network than the device was originally enabled for (i.e. so you can bring the iPhone to a network other than ATT);
- Security testing for video games;
- Accessing computer programs via outdated or damaged dongles; and,
- Accessing digital books through read-aloud functions.
While this doesn’t fundamentally change the fair use exceptions for copyright, it does help clarify them. With some of the clarifications, namely the jailbreaking feature for phones, it may have a significant commercial impact
If you develop software for phone or have an issue that may be affected by the new rules, please contact me, your Denver small business lawyer!