Obtaining exemptions to the U.S. DMCA

Petition to the Copyright Office in favor of a DMCA exemption for makers of noncommercial remix, 2014-2015

OTW Legal, together with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), filed reply comments refuting the claim that fan video makers should not be allowed to utilise high quality source material.

The OTW, together with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”), filed two exemption requests with the U.S. Copyright Office. The petitions seek renewal of the exemptions that the OTW helped secure in 2009 and 2012, which permit vidders to break encryption on audiovisual content provided via DVDs and online distribution services for the purpose of making noncommercial, transformative vids. In addition to seeking renewal of those exemptions, the OTW’s petition also seeks expansion of the exemptions to include Blu-Ray discs.

 

Petition to the Copyright Office to Renew the DMCA exemption for makers of noncommercial remix, 2011 – 2012

  • Comment of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (PDF), submitted December 2, 2011. OTW members Rebecca Tushnet, Rachael Vaughn, and Francesca Coppa worked with the EFF to submit a proposal to renew and expand the DMCA exemption for Noncommercial Remixers.
  • Reply Comment on behalf of the Organization For Transformative Works (PDF), in support of the EFF’s proposed DMCA exemption for vidders and other remix artists; submitted March 2, 2012. OTW Legal staff members Rachael Vaughn and Rebecca Tushnet worked with members of Legal and vidding to produce a Reply in support of the EFF’s proposal; the EFF also submitted their own Reply Comment (PDF) in support of various exemptions, including the exemption for Noncommerical Remixers.
  • A revised Test Suite of Fair Use Vids including a comparison of DVD-ripped footage and screen captured footage.
  • Francesca Coppa, Rebecca Tushnet, and Tisha Turk testify before the Library of Congress, June 4, 2012; Tisha Turk presents the exhibits in our first Image Gallery demonstrating quality differences between DVD-ripped and screen captured source.
  • Reply to the DVD CCA’s exhibits supporting screencapture, submitted August 2, 2012; see the OTW’s own second set of exhibits in our second Image Gallery.

 

Petition to the Copyright Office in favor of a DMCA exemption for makers of noncommercial remix, 2008- 2009

The EFF applied to the Library of Congress for a DMCA exemption to allow the extraction of clips from a DVD for inclusion in noncommercial remix videos, such as fanvids, that are found to be fair use. The OTW (and many vidders) assisted in the preparation of this application.

The Organization for Transformative Works has submitted a reply comment in support of the EFF’s proposed DMCA exemption for vidders and other noncommercial remix video artists.

On June 22, the Copyright Office requested further information from the OTW and other groups that testified during the DMCA Anticircumvention Hearings on May 6-8. (These hearings were designed to entertain testimony in favor of and against DMCA exemptions for educators beyond film studies professors (including K-12 teachers), documentary filmmakers, and vidders and other noncommercial remix artists.) These supplemental questions were about DVDs and screen capture software.

The Copyright Office sent around a second set of supplemental questions on August 22, 2009. The OTW collaborated with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a number of library associations (ALA, AALL, ARL, ACRL), film and media studies professors, and documentary filmmakers and their organizations, on a joint reply. We also co-wrote a separate response with the EFF specifically to address the particular needs of vidders and other remix artists; see below.

  • A Test Suite of Fair Use Video: A selection of fan videos with commentary offered in support of our proposal for an DMCA exemption for noncommercial remixers.