Ahead of next week’s first copyright reform hearing, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, along with Thomas Massie, Anna Eshoo, and Jared Polis, introduced a bill to put changes to the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA squarely on the table. The bill is a forceful response to the controversy over cell-phone unlocking that erupted in January. The most comprehensive proposal to date, the Unlocking Technology Act of 2013 would go significantly farther than bills introduced earlier this year, which narrowly aimed to remedy last year’s decision by the Library of Congress not to exempt phone unlocking from the anti-circumvention provisions beyond January.
Instead of focusing solely on phone unlocking, the new bill would create a broader exemption to the circumvention ban to allow DRM-cracking for all non-infringing purposes. A separate section would edit section 117 of the copyright act to make it clear that unlocking a wireless communications device solely to use it on another network is not copyright infringement.
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