This week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) submitted a comment to the U.S. Copyright Office to advocate for renewed and expanded exemptions to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DCMA), which prohibits the circumvention of technology protection measures that control access to copyrighted content. The FTC’s and DOJ’s interest is in facilitating consumers’ and businesses’ right to repair their own products.

According to the FTC and DOJ press release, “[m]anufacturers use technology protection measures to protect copyrighted works from theft and infringing uses, but these software locks can also be used to prevent non-infringing third-party repair.” The FTC and DOJ believe that “renewing and expanding repair-related exemptions would promote competition in markets for replacement parts, repair, and maintenance services, as well as facilitate competition in markets for repairable products. Promoting competition in repair markets benefits consumers and businesses by making it easier and cheaper to fix things they own. Expanding repair exemptions can also remove barriers that limit the ability of independent service providers—including small businesses and entrepreneurs—to provide repair services.”

More information, and examples of the exemptions advocated by the FTC and DOJ, can by found in the press release and comment.