37 CFR 201.40 - Exemption to prohibition against circumvention.

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§ 201.40 Exemption to prohibition against circumvention.
(a) General. This section prescribes the classes of copyrighted works for which the Librarian of Congress has determined, pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1)(C) and (D), that noninfringing uses by persons who are users of such works are, or are likely to be, adversely affected. The prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works set forth in 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1)(A) shall not apply to such users of the prescribed classes of copyrighted works.
(b) Classes of copyrighted works. Pursuant to the authority set forth in 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1)(C) and (D), and upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, the Librarian has determined that the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that effectively control access to copyrighted works set forth in 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1)(A) shall not apply to persons who engage in noninfringing uses of the following classes of copyrighted works:
(1) Motion pictures on DVDs that are lawfully made and acquired and that are protected by the Content Scrambling System when circumvention is accomplished solely in order to accomplish the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into new works for the purpose of criticism or comment, and where the person engaging in circumvention believes and has reasonable grounds for believing that circumvention is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the use in the following instances:
(i) Educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students;
(ii) Documentary filmmaking;
(iii) Noncommercial videos.
(2) Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset.
(3) Computer programs, in the form of firmware or software, that enable used wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telecommunications network, when circumvention is initiated by the owner of the copy of the computer program solely in order to connect to a wireless telecommunications network and access to the network is authorized by the operator of the network.
(4) Video games accessible on personal computers and protected by technological protection measures that control access to lawfully obtained works, when circumvention is accomplished solely for the purpose of good faith testing for, investigating, or correcting security flaws or vulnerabilities, if:
(i) The information derived from the security testing is used primarily to promote the security of the owner or operator of a computer, computer system, or computer network; and
(ii) The information derived from the security testing is used or maintained in a manner that does not facilitate copyright infringement or a violation of applicable law.
(5) Computer programs protected by dongles that prevent access due to malfunction or damage and which are obsolete. A dongle shall be considered obsolete if it is no longer manufactured or if a replacement or repair is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace.
(6) Literary works distributed in ebook format when all existing ebook editions of the work (including digital text editions made available by authorized entities) contain access controls that prevent the enabling either of the book's read-aloud function or of screen readers that render the text into a specialized format.
(c) Definition. “Specialized format,” “digital text” and “authorized entities” shall have the same meaning as in 17 U.S.C. 121.
[65 FR 64574, Oct. 27, 2000, as amended at 68 FR 62018, Oct. 31, 2003; 71 FR 68479, Nov. 27, 2006; 74 FR 55139, Oct. 27, 2009; 75 FR 43839, July 27, 2010; 75 FR 47465, Aug. 6, 2010]
Beta! The text on the eCFR tab represents the unofficial eCFR text at ecfr.gov.
§ 201.40 Exemptions to prohibition against circumvention.

(a) General. This section prescribes the classes of copyrighted works for which the Librarian of Congress has determined, pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1)(C) and (D), that noninfringing uses by persons who are users of such works are, or are likely to be, adversely affected. The prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works set forth in 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1)(A) shall not apply to such users of the prescribed classes of copyrighted works.

(b) Classes of copyrighted works. Pursuant to the authority set forth in 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1)(C) and (D), and upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, the Librarian has determined that the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that effectively control access to copyrighted works set forth in 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1)(A) shall not apply to persons who engage in noninfringing uses of the following classes of copyrighted works:

(1) Motion pictures (including television shows and videos), as defined in 17 U.S.C. 101, where circumvention is undertaken solely in order to make use of short portions of the motion pictures for the purpose of criticism or comment in the following instances:

(i) For use in documentary filmmaking,

(A) Where the circumvention is undertaken using screen-capture technology that appears to be offered to the public as enabling the reproduction of motion pictures after content has been lawfully acquired and decrypted, or

(B) Where the motion picture is lawfully made and acquired on a DVD protected by the Content Scramble System, on a Blu-ray disc protected by the Advanced Access Control System, or via a digital transmission protected by a technological measure, and where the person engaging in circumvention reasonably believes that screen-capture software or other non-circumventing alternatives are unable to produce the required level of high-quality content;

(ii) For use in noncommercial videos (including videos produced for a paid commission if the commissioning entity's use is noncommercial),

(A) Where the circumvention is undertaken using screen-capture technology that appears to be offered to the public as enabling the reproduction of motion pictures after content has been lawfully acquired and decrypted, or

(B) Where the motion picture is lawfully made and acquired on a DVD protected by the Content Scramble System, on a Blu-ray disc protected by the Advanced Access Control System, or via a digital transmission protected by a technological measure, and where the person engaging in circumvention reasonably believes that screen-capture software or other non-circumventing alternatives are unable to produce the required level of high-quality content;

(iii) For use in nonfiction multimedia e-books offering film analysis,

(A) Where the circumvention is undertaken using screen-capture technology that appears to be offered to the public as enabling the reproduction of motion pictures after content has been lawfully acquired and decrypted, or

(B) Where the motion picture is lawfully made and acquired on a DVD protected by the Content Scramble System, on a Blu-ray disc protected by the Advanced Access Control System, or via a digital transmission protected by a technological measure, and where the person engaging in circumvention reasonably believes that screen-capture software or other non-circumventing alternatives are unable to produce the required level of high-quality content;

(iv) By college and university faculty and students, for educational purposes,

(A) Where the circumvention is undertaken using screen-capture technology that appears to be offered to the public as enabling the reproduction of motion pictures after content has been lawfully acquired and decrypted, or

(B) In film studies or other courses requiring close analysis of film and media excerpts where the motion picture is lawfully made and acquired on a DVD protected by the Content Scramble System, on a Blu-ray disc protected by the Advanced Access Control System, or via a digital transmission protected by a technological measure, and where the person engaging in circumvention reasonably believes that screen-capture software or other non-circumventing alternatives are unable to produce the required level of high-quality content;

(v) By faculty of massive open online courses (MOOCs) offered by accredited nonprofit educational institutions to officially enrolled students through online platforms (which platforms themselves may be operated for profit), for educational purposes, where the MOOC provider through the online platform limits transmissions to the extent technologically feasible to such officially enrolled students, institutes copyright policies and provides copyright informational materials to faculty, students and relevant staff members, and applies technological measures that reasonably prevent unauthorized further dissemination of a work in accessible form to others or retention of the work for longer than the course session by recipients of a transmission through the platform, as contemplated by 17 U.S.C. 110(2),

(A) Where the circumvention is undertaken using screen-capture technology that appears to be offered to the public as enabling the reproduction of motion pictures after content has been lawfully acquired and decrypted, or

(B) In film studies or other courses requiring close analysis of film and media excerpts where the motion picture is lawfully made and acquired on a DVD protected by the Content Scramble System, on a Blu-ray disc protected by the Advanced Access Control System, or via a digital transmission protected by a technological measure, and where the person engaging in circumvention reasonably believes that screen-capture software or other non-circumventing alternatives are unable to produce the required level of high-quality content;

(vi) By kindergarten through twelfth-grade educators, including of accredited general educational development (GED) programs, for educational purposes,

(A) Where the circumvention is undertaken using screen-capture technology that appears to be offered to the public as enabling the reproduction of motion pictures after content has been lawfully acquired and decrypted, or

(B) In film studies or other courses requiring close analysis of film and media excerpts where the motion picture is lawfully made and acquired on a DVD protected by the Content Scramble System, or via a digital transmission protected by a technological measure, and where the person engaging in circumvention reasonably believes that screen-capture software or other non-circumventing alternatives are unable to produce the required level of high-quality content;

(vii) By kindergarten through twelfth-grade students, including those in accredited general educational development (GED) programs, for educational purposes, where the circumvention is undertaken using screen-capture technology that appears to be offered to the public as enabling the reproduction of motion pictures after content has been lawfully acquired and decrypted; and

(viii) By educators and participants in nonprofit digital and media literacy programs offered by libraries, museums and other nonprofit entities with an educational mission, in the course of face-to-face instructional activities for educational purposes, where the circumvention is undertaken using screen-capture technology that appears to be offered to the public as enabling the reproduction of motion pictures after content has been lawfully acquired and decrypted.

(2) Literary works, distributed electronically, that are protected by technological measures that either prevent the enabling of read-aloud functionality or interfere with screen readers or other applications or assistive technologies,

(i) When a copy of such a work is lawfully obtained by a blind or other person with a disability, as such a person is defined in 17 U.S.C. 121; provided, however, that the rights owner is remunerated, as appropriate, for the price of the mainstream copy of the work as made available to the general public through customary channels, or

(ii) When such work is a nondramatic literary work, lawfully obtained and used by an authorized entity pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 121.

(3)

(i) Computer programs that enable the following types of wireless devices to connect to a wireless telecommunications network, when circumvention is undertaken solely in order to connect to a wireless telecommunications network and such connection is authorized by the operator of such network, and the device is a used device:

(A) Wireless telephone handsets (i.e., cellphones);

(B) All-purpose tablet computers;

(C) Portable mobile connectivity devices, such as mobile hotspots, removable wireless broadband modems, and similar devices; and

(D) Wearable wireless devices designed to be worn on the body, such as smartwatches or fitness devices.

(ii) A device is considered “used” for purposes of this exemption when it has previously been lawfully acquired and activated on the wireless telecommunications network of a wireless carrier.

(4) Computer programs that enable smartphones and portable all-purpose mobile computing devices to execute lawfully obtained software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications with computer programs on the smartphone or device, or to permit removal of software from the smartphone or device. For purposes of this exemption, a “portable all-purpose mobile computing device” is a device that is primarily designed to run a wide variety of programs rather than for consumption of a particular type of media content, is equipped with an operating system primarily designed for mobile use, and is intended to be carried or worn by an individual.

(5) Computer programs that enable smart televisions to execute lawfully obtained software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications with computer programs on the smart television.

(6) Computer programs that are contained in and control the functioning of a motorized land vehicle such as a personal automobile, commercial motor vehicle or mechanized agricultural vehicle, except for computer programs primarily designed for the control of telematics or entertainment systems for such vehicle, when circumvention is a necessary step undertaken by the authorized owner of the vehicle to allow the diagnosis, repair or lawful modification of a vehicle function; and where such circumvention does not constitute a violation of applicable law, including without limitation regulations promulgated by the Department of Transportation or the Environmental Protection Agency; and provided, however, that such circumvention is initiated no earlier than 12 months after the effective date of this regulation.

(7)

(i) Computer programs, where the circumvention is undertaken on a lawfully acquired device or machine on which the computer program operates solely for the purpose of good-faith security research and does not violate any applicable law, including without limitation the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, as amended and codified in title 18, United States Code; and provided, however, that, except as to voting machines, such circumvention is initiated no earlier than 12 months after the effective date of this regulation, and the device or machine is one of the following:

(A) A device or machine primarily designed for use by individual consumers (including voting machines);

(B) A motorized land vehicle; or

(C) A medical device designed for whole or partial implantation in patients or a corresponding personal monitoring system, that is not and will not be used by patients or for patient care.

(ii) For purposes of this exemption, “good-faith security research” means accessing a computer program solely for purposes of good-faith testing, investigation and/or correction of a security flaw or vulnerability, where such activity is carried out in a controlled environment designed to avoid any harm to individuals or the public, and where the information derived from the activity is used primarily to promote the security or safety of the class of devices or machines on which the computer program operates, or those who use such devices or machines, and is not used or maintained in a manner that facilitates copyright infringement.

(8)

(i) Video games in the form of computer programs embodied in physical or downloaded formats that have been lawfully acquired as complete games, when the copyright owner or its authorized representative has ceased to provide access to an external computer server necessary to facilitate an authentication process to enable local gameplay, solely for the purpose of:

(A) Permitting access to the video game to allow copying and modification of the computer program to restore access to the game for personal gameplay on a personal computer or video game console; or

(B) Permitting access to the video game to allow copying and modification of the computer program to restore access to the game on a personal computer or video game console when necessary to allow preservation of the game in a playable form by an eligible library, archives or museum, where such activities are carried out without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage and the video game is not distributed or made available outside of the physical premises of the eligible library, archives or museum.

(ii) Computer programs used to operate video game consoles solely to the extent necessary for an eligible library, archives or museum to engage in the preservation activities described in paragraph (i)(B).

(iii) For purposes of the exemptions in paragraphs (i) and (ii), the following definitions shall apply:

(A) “Complete games” means video games that can be played by users without accessing or reproducing copyrightable content stored or previously stored on an external computer server.

(B) “Ceased to provide access” means that the copyright owner or its authorized representative has either issued an affirmative statement indicating that external server support for the video game has ended and such support is in fact no longer available or, alternatively, server support has been discontinued for a period of at least six months; provided, however, that server support has not since been restored.

(C) “Local gameplay” means gameplay conducted on a personal computer or video game console, or locally connected personal computers or consoles, and not through an online service or facility.

(D) A library, archives or museum is considered “eligible” when the collections of the library, archives or museum are open to the public and/or are routinely made available to researchers who are not affiliated with the library, archives or museum.

(9) Computer programs that operate 3D printers that employ microchip-reliant technological measures to limit the use of feedstock, when circumvention is accomplished solely for the purpose of using alternative feedstock and not for the purpose of accessing design software, design files or proprietary data; provided, however, that the exemption shall not extend to any computer program on a 3D printer that produces goods or materials for use in commerce the physical production of which is subject to legal or regulatory oversight or a related certification process, or where the circumvention is otherwise unlawful.

(10) Literary works consisting of compilations of data generated by medical devices that are wholly or partially implanted in the body or by their corresponding personal monitoring systems, where such circumvention is undertaken by a patient for the sole purpose of lawfully accessing the data generated by his or her own device or monitoring system and does not constitute a violation of applicable law, including without limitation the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 or regulations of the Food and Drug Administration, and is accomplished through the passive monitoring of wireless transmissions that are already being produced by such device or monitoring system.

(c) Persons who may initiate circumvention. To the extent authorized under paragraph (b) of this section, the circumvention of a technological measure that restricts wireless telephone handsets or other wireless devices from connecting to a wireless telecommunications network may be initiated by the owner of any such handset or other device, by another person at the direction of the owner, or by a provider of a commercial mobile radio service or a commercial mobile data service at the direction of such owner or other person, solely in order to enable such owner or a family member of such owner to connect to a wireless telecommunications network, when such connection is authorized by the operator of such network.

[65 FR 64574, Oct. 27, 2000, as amended at 68 FR 62018, Oct. 31, 2003; 71 FR 68479, Nov. 27, 2006; 74 FR 55139, Oct. 27, 2009; 75 FR 43839, July 27, 2010; 75 FR 47465, Aug. 6, 2010; 77 FR 65278, Oct. 26, 2012; 79 FR 50553, Aug. 25, 2014; 80 FR 65961, Oct. 28, 2015]

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.


United States Code
U.S. Code: Title 17 - COPYRIGHTS

Title 37 published on 2014-07-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 37 CFR Part 201 after this date.

  • 2015-10-28; vol. 80 # 208 - Wednesday, October 28, 2015
    1. 80 FR 65944 - Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, Copyright Office
      Final rule.
      Effective October 28, 2015.
      37 CFR Part 201