Issue 132 | November 7, 2003
New Rules on Anticircumvention Exemptions
 On October 28, 2003, the Librarian of Congress announced four classes of�copyrighted works�that are�exempt�from the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to�those�works through October 27, 2006:

(1) Compilations consisting of lists of Internet locations blocked by commercially marketed filtering software applications.

(2) Computer programs protected by dongles that prevent access due to malfunction or damage and which are�no longer manufactured or reasonably available in the commercial marketplace.

(3) Computer programs and video games distributed in formats which� have become no longer manufactured or reasonably available in the commercial marketplace and which require the original media or hardware as a condition of access.

(4) Literary works distributed in ebook format when all existing ebook editions of the work�contain access controls that prevent the enabling of the ebook's read-aloud function and that prevent the enabling of screen readers to render the text into a specialized format.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibits circumvention of technological measures employed by, or on behalf of, copyright owners to protect their works.��Violators of these access controls are�liable for either (1) the actual damages and any additional profits of the violator or (2) statutory damages�not less than $200 or more than $2,500 per act of circumvention, device, product, component, offer, or performance of service. However, in order to ensure that the public�has the�continued ability to engage in noninfringing uses of copyrighted works,� 17 U.S.C. Section 1201�excludes�"particular classes of works"�whose users�are�determined by the Librarian of Congress as likely to be adversely affected in their ability to make noninfringing uses.� According to the Statement of the Librarian accompanying the rulemaking, "Two of these classes of works are very similar to the two classes of works that were exempted three years ago, but they have been modified to take into account the somewhat different cases that were presented to the Register this year. One of these two new classes of works will provide some relief to libraries and archives in their preservation activities, and the other will assist the blind and visually disabled in their ability to gain meaningful access to digital materials."

The "Determination of the Librarian of Congress and Text of the Regulation" is available from the U.S. Copyright Office at http://www.copyright.gov/1201/index.html. Background on this topic is available from Issue 61 of these "APLF Updates"�at http://www.aplf.org/mailer/issue61.html.�For more information on�copyright access controls,�contact the author, Bill Heinze (bill.heinze@tkhr.com), at Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley LLP in Atlanta, Georgia USA.

The information contained in this email is provided for informational purposes only and does not represent legal advice. Neither the APLF nor the author intends to create an attorney client relationship by providing this information to you through this message.