Copyright Office Announces 9th Triennial Rulemaking Under §1201

On June 8, 2023, The Copyright Office published a notice of inquiry and request for petitions initiating the ninth triennial rulemaking proceeding under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), section 1201 of Title 17 of the United States Code. Section 1201 provides that the Librarian of Congress, upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, may adopt temporary exemptions to the DMCA’s prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. The ultimate goal of the proceeding is to determine whether there are particular classes of works as to which users are, or are likely to be in the next three years, adversely affected in their ability to make noninfringing uses due to the prohibition on circumventing access controls. When such classes are identified, the Librarian promulgates regulations exempting the classes from the prohibition for the succeeding three-year period.

For this proceeding, the Copyright Office will use a streamlined procedure for the renewal of exemptions that were granted during the previous eighth triennial rulemaking. If renewed, those current exemptions would remain in force for an additional three-year period (October 2024–October 2027).

The Office is also accepting petitions for new exemptions to engage in activities not currently permitted by existing exemptions, which may include proposals that expand on a current exemption. Members of the public seeking to engage in such activities may propose a new exemption by filing a petition.

The notice of inquiry requests that interested parties submit written petitions for renewal of current exemptions by July 7, 2023, written comments in response to any petitions for renewal by August 11, 2023, and written petitions proposing new exemptions by August 11, 2023.

More information and petition forms are available here.