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Smart is the New Locked.The Copyright Office Prepares to Rule on the Future of Everything

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Smart is the New Locked.The Copyright Office Prepares to Rule on the Future of Everything

Software is no longer limited to computers, tablets, and phones. Everyday objects from sneakers to refrigerators contain software, which often allow our apparel and appliances to communicate with mobile devices, the internet, and each other. As all of our possessions become “smart,” they are also becoming subject to laws that were never intended to regulate our morning cup of coffee or trip to the gym.

Last week, the US Copyright Office received petitions from consumers, company owners, and educators who believe that their lives and livelihoods are suffering because of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the DMCA). And for the first time, the majority of petitions asking for exemptions to the DMCA have nothing at all to do with the original intent of the antipiracy law. We have entered a world that legislators had not envisioned when they drafted the DMCA, and the Copyright Office has to decide how to apply an aging policy in a new century.