On September 16, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property held a hearing titled “Are Reforms to Section 1201 Needed and Warranted?”, which continued the Subcommittee’s year-long series of hearings on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Chairman Thom Tillis (D-NC) began by explaining that section 1201 was Enacted in 1998 as part of the DMCA to protect against the circumvention of technological protection measures used by copyright owners to prevent unauthorized access to or use of their works, but the “tradeoff has been that consumers have to worry about violating section 1201 when they repair their devices…whether farm equipment, or cars or iPads that happen to rely on software for their operation.” Tillis said Congress needs to ensure that the “correct balance is still being struck.”

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