The U.S. Copyright Office requiring proprietary software in DMCA anti-circumvention study
Last week, working with our Defective By Design team, we asked people to co-sign a comment that we, the Free Software Foundation (FSF), will be submitting to the U.S. Copyright Office for their study of the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA (17 U.S.C. 1201). Our comment sends a simple and clear message: the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions, including the triennial exemption granting process, are broken beyond repair and the only way to fix this law is to repeal it altogether. The Copyright Office has extended the comment period, and so our comment is now open for public co-signing until noon EST (5pm UTC) on March 2nd. The DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions threaten computer-users with legal consequences for bypassing digital restrictions management (DRM) and individuals can face criminal penalties for sharing software designed to bypass particular DRM technologies. Will you co-sign our comment and join us in taking a stand against this attack on freedom and declare that you too want to see an end to the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions?
Regardless of whether Regulations.gov chooses to fix this problem, it is troubling that the U.S. Copyright Office won't even acknowledge that a citizen's refusal to run proprietary software is a reasonable choice. The public should be able to communicate with government agencies without being forced to use proprietary software which is owned and controlled by some corporation. It's like saying that individuals have to be wearing Nike brand sneakers in order to have a meeting with their congressperson -- with the additional complication that the software also directly violates individuals' freedoms.
Here is what you can do to help:
If you are in the U.S. or are a U.S. citizen living in another country, co-sign our comment and encourage others to do the same.
Email our campaigns manager, Zak Rogoff, at firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, March 1st, to let us know if you would like to join us in Washington D.C. to deliver the letter on March 3rd.
Make a donation to support our work defending computer user freedom and our campaign to oppose DRM.