Update On Our Work To Fix The DCMA

While we are excited about our celebration on June 24th, we are still continuing to fight for the ideals and principles that have driven Kartemquin for the last 50 years. In March of this year, a comment was submitted to the Register of Copyrights by the coalition that is fighting to make changes to the DMCA exemption process to allow filmmakers, like ourselves, to use media for criticism, commentary, or other forms of fair use. Simply put, we first recommended a simple fix to the DMCA: make the DMCA apply only when ripping is tied to illegal conduct. Then in June, Jack Lerner, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and a board member of the IDA, participated in a round-table hearing on behalf of the independent filmmaking community held by the Copyright Office in San Francisco regarding the DMCA §1201 study. An update by Jack Lerner on his experience and background on this work can be found at documentary.org. Here is an excerpt: "The DMCA is the 1998 law that makes it illegal—in some cases a crime, even—to rip from DVDs or other encrypted media, even for filmmakers like us who need to access high-quality media in order to make criticism, commentary, or other forms of fair use. Congress saw this coming, so it established a rulemaking proceeding every three years as a “fail-safe” mechanism. Three times, we’ve gone to the United States Copyright Office to advocate for exemptions that protect the ability to make fair use of copyrighted material. The rulemaking is intense, expensive, controversial, and only partially helpful to filmmakers like us. In other words, it’s a deeply flawed process." Read more about how we're working with Jack Lerner on Fixing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.