On Friday, the Cyberlaw Clinic filed a comment on behalf of a coalition of medical device researchers in the Library of Congress’s triennial rulemaking regarding the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anticircumvention provisions. As we noted in the blog post from when the Clinic filed an initial petition in this rulemaking, every three years the Librarian of Congress, at the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, considers exemptions to the general law against circumventing technological measures that prevent the public from accessing copyrighted works. These exemptions are granted in cases where the law against circumventing technological measures around copyrighted works unduly prevents the public from making lawful uses of those works. (For more on anti-circumvention law, see the Chilling Effects FAQ.)
The Clinic filed a public comment on behalf of researchers Hugo Campos, Jay Radcliffe, Karen Sandler, and Benjamin West, who each study the security and effectiveness of implantable medical devices, including pacemakers, cardioverter defibrillators, insulin pumps, and continuous glucose monitors. This research sometimes requires researchers to reverse engineer these devices in order to study their source code and outputs. The petition was filed to make sure these researchers are allowed to do this even when the device manufacturers encrypt, password-protect, or require proprietary tools in order to access this information.
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