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DMCA Rulemaking Stories and Evidence
The Digital Millenium Copyright Act has limited the legal rights of students and educators since its inception, blocking access to works using digital locks even in cases of otherwise legally permissible use under copyright law or the first amendment. Every 3 years the Copyright Office requires groups asking for exemptions to start from scratch, developing a new petition and submitting new and greater evidentiary support.

It is vitally important for educators and students to hold on to their ability to use the works otherwise protected by digital locks. In order to keep pace with technology and provide quality instruction educators and students must be able to make and use excerpts from digitally locked audiovisual materials and encrypted streaming media.

The Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic, in conjunction with Professor of Cinema Studies Peter Decherney, the College Art Association, the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, and the International Communication Association submitted a petition requesting exemptions for educators and students to make use of audiovisual works embodied in physical media and obtained online, where the circumvention is accomplished by college and university students or faculty (including teaching and research assistants) or students and faculty participating in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for the purpose of criticism or comment.

You can view our petition and others here:

Have a story about breaking digital locks and the hardship it has imposed on you? Please share! *
Please share your stories if you use audiovisual works, including but not limited to film, video games, slide presentations and still images that require you to break digital locks. Helpful stories may include examples of the chilling effects of digital locks on research and scholarship, stories of the time lost navigating workarounds, instances where use of a work was completely prevented, and even stories of triumph under the current exemption.
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