The Librarian of Congress approved a new set of exemptions from the anticircumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, pursuant to the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights. The exemptions apply to persons who make noninfringing uses of six classes of works. The exemptions include an expanded category of computer programs that enable used wireless telephone handsets to connect with a wireless network (i.e., "unlocking" mobile phones), and a limited exemption for "ripping" copy-protected DVDs in order to create new, noncommercial works for criticism or comment. Another new exemption covers the modification of smartphone software in order to enable the use of software applications on the handset that are obtained from sources other than the smartphone distributor (i.e., "jailbreaking" smartphones).

Final Rule, Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies, 75 Fed. Reg. 43825 (July 27, 2010) Download PDF

Editor’s Note: The new anticircumvention exceptions are discussed further on the New Media and Technology Law blog.