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US Copyright Office: It’s legal to work on your car

by David Zatz on

Today, according to the Specialty Equipment Market Association, the U.S. Copyright Office ruled that vehicle owners could “perform vehicle diagnosis, repair, and modification” without being prosecuted under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

transmission controller computer (electronics)

No exemption was granted to third parties to do this, though — it remains strictly a do-it-yourself exemption. The reason was that the Copyright Office believes this would require legislation by Congress.

Access to telematics and entertainment systems was excluded from the exemption.

The DMCA, enacted in 1998, bans working around protections of copyrighted works, but also allows the Copyright Office to grant exemptions as needed. See the full rulingSee Allpar’s repairs page.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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