You’re invited to a special public session of the SPN Law & Policy Chats! Each month, SPN’s Law & Policy Advisor, Brandon Butler, creates space for SPN members to come and ask questions that help them understand how the law intersects with their work.

Usually these sessions are open to SPN members only, but this month we’re inviting the public to join us!

Did you know that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) rules permit libraries and archives to crack digital rights management to facilitate research, but only on the premises of the library or archives? This means access to cracked software anywhere outside the physical premises of the library or archives, including at other locations on an institution’s campus, or via authenticated VPN, or for research and teaching purposes only, violates the DMCA. SPN is teaming up with the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard Law School to ask for new, expanded exemptions that protect our right to preserve software encumbered with digital rights management (dongles, authentication servers, authentication keys, and other measures that restrict access and copying) and provide remote access in support of teaching and research..

The Copyright Office is gearing up again for its triennial rule-making to grant temporary exemptions from the digital locks provisions in the DMCA. We are hopeful that the COVID-19 crisis has shown the short-sightedness of the on-premises limitation, but we MUST HAVE good stories to tell if we want to present the strongest possible case.

The Law & Policy Chat will take place on Tuesday, July 7 at 3pm ET/2 CT/1 MT/12 PT/7pm GMT. If you are interested in attending but have not received call-in information, email Caitlin Perry at <>.

And sign up here to share your story about remote access to software! A project representative will follow up to interview you.

Preferred citation:

Butler, Brandon. (2020, June 29). You're Invited! SPN Law & Policy Chat on the DMCA Remote Access Limitation. Software Preservation Network.