Librarian of Congress Adds New Exemptions for Legally Hacking DRM to Repair Devices

cageymaru

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 10, 2003
Messages
20,727
The Librarian of Congress and US Copyright Office has proposed adding new rules that would make hacking DRM legal if done to repair devices purchased legally. Devices such as smartphones, tractors, cars, computers, and more can have their firmware hacked to facilitate repairs to the devices. Right to repair activists such as Louis Rossmann have been calling for these changes for years. Of course this doesn't mean that consumers can circumvent DRM to access copyrighted works. Page 52 of the Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies delves into software and video game preservation.

While this is a huge win on a federal level, this decision does nothing to address the practicalities of what consumers and independent repair professionals face in the real world. Anti-tampering and repair DRM implemented by manufacturers has gotten increasingly difficult to circumvent, and the decision doesn't make DRM illegal, it just makes it legal for the owner of a device to bypass it for the purposes of repair. "Getting an exemption to reset the device is pretty different from having access to the firmware to actually do that," Proctor said.
 

tetris42

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 29, 2014
Messages
4,518
While this is a huge win on a federal level, this decision does nothing to address the practicalities of what consumers and independent repair professionals face in the real world. Anti-tampering and repair DRM implemented by manufacturers has gotten increasingly difficult to circumvent, and the decision doesn't make DRM illegal, it just makes it legal for the owner of a device to bypass it for the purposes of repair. "Getting an exemption to reset the device is pretty different from having access to the firmware to actually do that," Proctor said.
Glad to see someone gets it. It's nice that we officially have the rights to what we should have always had anyway, but it doesn't change the reality of circumventing it if they make it strong enough.
 

velusip

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 24, 2005
Messages
1,579
"Protecting" your product from service... that's anti-capitalism.

Maybe someday these companies will figure out that they are hurting their own industry. It's sad that it takes a judge to explain it.
 
D

Deleted member 245375

Guest
The problem is: none of these companies involved in using such practices to prevent repairs is hurting, not one of them. They're all reporting record profits all the time and it's on the backs of "the disposable society" at large who just toss their damaged or defective devices and go buy another one just increasing the money those companies are pulling in.

Is this exemption a good thing? Sure it is, but it won't make a dent in the argument overall.
 

Skull_Angel

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
May 31, 2010
Messages
1,659
I wonder if this means that modifying a car's fuel mapping to pass SMOG will now be legal. I'm not even talking about modified cars, many stock '90s cars borderline being able to pass recent SMOG certification changes to begin with; a little tweak to mapping could go a long way with minimal performance impact.
 

Grimlaking

2[H]4U
Joined
May 9, 2006
Messages
3,246
Yes but now DRM removal software for proper recovery doesn't have to be malware labeled or even made with malware. Actual software/shareware developers can write DRM removal programs as long as its intended purpose is for the recovery of DRM material and potentially backing it up. And they can do so without the fear of Manufacturers and developers coming down on them like 10 tons of bricks.
 

BloodyIron

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
3,439
I see this clashing with the DMCA, because if this is compatible with the DMCA, then the same is for DVD and Blu-ray backups...

I hope it's compatible, but the MPAA and RIAA history tells me otherwise.
 

sfsuphysics

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
14,999
Topic is very misleading "adds new exemption" the synopsis says "proposes" because everyone knows the kind of power a librarian has
 

emphy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
297
Glad to see someone gets it. It's nice that we officially have the rights to what we should have always had anyway, but it doesn't change the reality of circumventing it if they make it strong enough.

That's not really a problem if the exemption becomes a reality - despite advertisements to the contrary, drm is not really all that effective in preventing the possibility of copying, even when it's kept illegal. Adding drm, however, is not done as a technical prevention measure, but a legal one.
 

TurboGLH

Gawd
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
676
I see this clashing with the DMCA, because if this is compatible with the DMCA, then the same is for DVD and Blu-ray backups...

I hope it's compatible, but the MPAA and RIAA history tells me otherwise.

The exemption process is codified in the DMCA, so it's completely above board, and only applies to what is specifically listed, so it remains illegal to break DRM to backup your DVD/BR collection.

Topic is very misleading "adds new exemption" the synopsis says "proposes" because everyone knows the kind of power a librarian has

It's "proposed" as in not in effect, these exemptions are redone every three years, it's completely within the power of the LoC/Copyright office to do this, in accordance with the DMCA and the new rules will be in effect for the next three years at a minimum .
 

H2R2P2

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 18, 2006
Messages
412
What if you needed to "repair" your software by circumventing the DRM? Moooohaaaahaaaaahaaaaa!!!
 

Bounty

Gawd
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
922
Me: "The Library of Congress makes law."

Founding fathers: "WTF?!?!?!"
 

Jagger100

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
7,687
Does repair = unbricking a phone I bricked because it was stolen and I don't want the information available to anyone?
 

TurboGLH

Gawd
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
676
Me: "The Library of Congress makes law."

Founding fathers: "WTF?!?!?!"

Me: "Congress passed a law, that was in turn signed by the president. This law amended US copyright law, and it had a chapter (12), a section (1201), and subsection (c). That section stared that every third year the Library of Congress, in conjunction with the Registrar of copyright, can make exemptions to the DRM provision if it would impeed the fair use rights of those affected."

You : ":wacky:"


https://www.copyright.gov/1201/2018/

https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap12.html
 

DrBorg

Gawd
Joined
Jan 22, 2005
Messages
555
Does repair = unbricking a phone I bricked because it was stolen and I don't want the information available to anyone?

I wouldn't think so; the exemption is to you, not a third party.

I would bet that if it can be tracked after the unbricking, Apple would help you find or Re-brick it.

That's one of their 'features' to cut down on people stealing them.

And Theft or Fraud is not a reason to invoke an exemption to the law.

The DCMA sucked at the time, but the mechanism has worked pretty well, IMHO.

I haven't heard of anyone being arrested for copying their disks to a hard drive, but I've heard of people being busted for selling or uploading illegal copies.

The question for me is: If some asshole steals my (Theoretical) 10GB hard drive array of DVD's and sells/uploads them, am I liable? :eek:
 

velusip

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 24, 2005
Messages
1,579
Yes but now DRM removal software for proper recovery doesn't have to be malware labeled or even made with malware. Actual software/shareware developers can write DRM removal programs as long as its intended purpose is for the recovery of DRM material and potentially backing it up. And they can do so without the fear of Manufacturers and developers coming down on them like 10 tons of bricks.
But don't hack PubG -- that's a paddlin'.
 
Top