Compliance Management, Government Regulations

EFF lawsuit challenges DMCA Section 1201

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed an injunction against the Department of Justice (DoJ), Library of Congress (LoC), Copyright Office and U.S. officials on Thursday, challenging provisions in U.S. copyright law under Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The EFF says the provisions violate the right to freedom of expression under the First Amendment..

The lawsuit was filed on Thursday on behalf of cryptographer Matthew Green, security researcher Andrew “bunnie” Huang, and Huang's company Alphamax. The case names Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, confirmed Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden (pending her official appointment), and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office Maria Palate as defendants.

The LOC and Copyright Office have imposed “onerous requirements on applicants seeking exemptions” under the DMCA, according to the lawsuit. The requirements include the requirement that researchers seeking an exemption establish that their speech should be permitted. “Requiring an applicant to demonstrate a widespread impact on noninfringing uses, rather than a simple showing of impact on the applicant's own speech,” the lawsuit stated.

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