The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) requires the Registrar of the U.S. Copyright Office under the Library of Congress to conduct a process every three years to determine whether to exempt circumvention (i.e., hacking) of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. The lack of an exemption violates the DMCA.
In the 7th Triennial Exemption Proceeding, the Acting Registrar issued a Recommendation in support of Thompson Coburn client Digital Content Protection LLC (DCP), which is wholly owned by Intel Corporation. Jim Burger, partner, and B.I. Middleton, associate, represented DCP.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a petition on behalf of Dr. Huang asking that an exemption be granted to circumvent DCP’s High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) technology. HDCP is used to protect high value video content that flows between set-top boxes, DVD/Blu-ray Players, and video game players to TV sets and other displays.
The Acting Registrar’s Recommendation contained numerous citations to Comments submitted by Thompson Coburn on behalf of DCP and Burger’s oral argument.
“Content providers require assurance that high-value digital content is adequately protected in order to offer consumers more choices and opportunities to enjoy that content,” said Stephen Balogh, President DCP LLC.
“Without HDCP, content could be copied and widely distributed on the Internet, which is a clear breach of our copyright,” stated Burger who appeared before the U.S. Copyright Office. “This Recommendation is in alignment with the DMCA requirements.”
Balogh stated, “HDCP is an essential link in that chain of protection adopted by almost every content distribution and consumption system deployed in the market today. The Acting Registrar’s recommendation supports HDCP’s important role in this thriving content ecosystem.”
The decision is now before the Librarian of Congress. In most instances, the Librarian adopts the Registrar’s Recommendation.
About Thompson Coburn
Thompson Coburn is a full-service law firm with nearly 380 attorneys practicing in more than 50 areas of law. With offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Southern Illinois and Washington, D.C., the firm was named a top 30 law firm in the nation for exceptional client service in 2017 by BTI Consulting, the country’s leading provider of strategic research to law firms and general counsel.
Digital Content Protection LLC (DCP) is an organization that licenses technologies for protecting premium commercial entertainment content. High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is a specification developed by Intel Corporation to protect digital entertainment content across digital interfaces. The HDCP specification provides a robust, cost-effective and transparent method for transmitting and receiving digital entertainment content to compliant digital displays.
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