Tech Law & Policy Clinic Wins Relief for Computer Security Researchers

August 11, 2010

Professors Paul Ohm, Harry Surden, and Brad Bernthal and Colorado Law graduate Blake Reid '10, a former student in the Glushko-Samuelson Technology Law and Policy Clinic, recently represented University of Michigan electrical engineering and computer science professor Alex Halderman before the U.S. Copyright Office, lobbying for a security research exemption from the anti-circumvention measures of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Professor Surden, Professor Halderman, and Reid testified in support of the exemption at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, in the spring of 2009.At the end of July, the Librarian of Congress, based on recommendations from the Copyright Office and Assistant Secretary of Commerce Larry Strickling, ruled in favor of Professor Halderman and the Colorado Law team, announcing a new exemption for security research on video game digital rights management (DRM) systems. The exemption will provide much needed relief for academic and professional researchers studying security flaws in video game DRM systems, some of whom have been threatened in the past by lawsuits from DRM manufacturers.The team received helpful support from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a coalition of preeminent security researchers from top universities and leading technology companies from all over the world. The exemption will stay in effect until the Copyright Office conducts its next anti-circumvention rulemaking.Read the story on the details on the exemptions.