October 27, 2021
The Librarian of Congress, upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, is publishing a final rule in the Federal Register adopting exemptions to the statutory prohibition on circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. Publication of the final rule marks the completion of the eighth triennial rulemaking proceeding under Title 17, section 1201, of the United States Code.
As in prior section 1201 proceedings, the Copyright Office administered the rulemaking through an extensive public process. For this proceeding, the Office again employed a streamlined procedure that allowed members of the public to seek renewal of existing exemptions to which there was no meaningful opposition. After considering the renewal petitions and comments submitted in response, the Register ultimately recommended renewing all exemptions previously granted in the 2018 rulemaking.
In addition to the petitions to renew existing exemptions, the Office considered petitions for expanded or new exemptions, which it organized into seventeen classes. The Office invited public input on these proposals through three rounds of written comments and seven days of public hearings. After the hearings, the Office issued written questions to hearing participants regarding certain proposed exemptions and held ex parte meetings with participants. As required by statute, the Office also consulted with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the Department of Commerce. Based on this record, the Register recommended granting proposed exemptions, in whole or in part, in fourteen of the seventeen classes, as discussed in her formal Recommendation to the Librarian. The Librarian adopted the Register’s Recommendation in full.
The final rule, Register’s Recommendation, record materials in this proceeding, and general information about the section 1201 rulemaking process are available on the Copyright Office website.
For media inquiries, please contact the Copyright Office at (202) 707-7333.
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