First, a significant new appellate court case from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has concluded that the restrictions on circumventing an “access control” (ie. a digital lock that restricts access to a work rather than a copy control which restricts copying of a work) are far more limited than previously thought. With language that bears a striking similarity to those arguing circumvention should be permitted for lawful purposes, the U.S. appeals court states:
Merely bypassing a technological protection that restricts a user from viewing or using a work is insufficient to trigger the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision. The DMCA prohibits only forms of access that would violate or impinge on the protections that the Copyright Act otherwise affords copyright owners.
In other words, the U.S. court has found that DMCA is limited to guarding access controls only to the extent that circumvention would violate the copyright rights of the copyright owner. This is very similar to what many groups have been arguing for in the context of Canadian legal reform.