DMCA– Good News for Teaching

Just the other day the Librarian of Congress announced the rules for exemption to DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) regarding circumventing access-control technologies. And guess what! They’re more permissive than before!

Today I have designated six classes of works. Persons who circumvent access controls in order to engage in noninfringing uses of works in these six classes will not be subject to the statutory prohibition against circumvention. – James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress

The six classes of works include movies on DVD, several classes of computer programs, video games, and e-books. Be sure to read the information from the copyright office for the details.

The legal ability to circumvent controls on DVDs will be good news for professors and teaching staff who utilize visual content; and being able to unlock e-books for people with vision problems to be able to HEAR their books is a boon to making content more freely available.

I wonder if any of you have provided or are planning to provide support to teaching faculty to circumvent some of these technologies now that they are legally allowed. Thoughts? Please comment below.

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