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Library of Congress Announces Changes to Copyright Regulations

US Copyright Office LogoThe Library of Congress announced new exemptions to copyright regulations that prevent the circumvention of technical measures that prevent users from accessing and modifying copyrighted works. These new exemptions will allow for greater access and wider use of copyrighted materials.

According to the press release summary, “the Librarian of Congress announces that the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that effectively control access to copyrighted works shall not apply to persons who engage in noninfringing uses of six classes of copyrighted works.” To read the full summary, view the announcement from the US Copyright Office.

This announcement provides for several exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Included in this announcement are provisions which allow for the fair use of video and motion picture recording. Ebooks are also included as part of the new exemption. The provisions allow ebook owners to bypass controls which prevent the use of read-aloud functions or screen readers. Additionally this rule makes it technically legal for iPhone users to “jailbreak” their iPhone without threat of legal action. “Jailbroken” iPhones can download applications not available in the iTunes store as well as potentially be used on networks other than AT&T.

The announcement and new rules from the Copyright Office are part of a revision process which occurs every three years.

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