3 Count: Right to Repair

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1: US Copyright Office Expands Rights to Repair Software-Enabled Devices

First off today, Joshua Revilla at the National Law Review reports that the US Copyright Office has updated its regulations regarding consumers and repair shops breaking digital rights management (DRM) as part of fixing items they own.

As part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Copyright Office creates a set of exemptions on the ban of circumventing DRM. However, as software protections have been increasingly used to lock down physical goods, including preventing unauthorized repair, many have clamored for an exemption tailored to the right to repair.

In the latest exemption cycle, the Copyright Office opted to allow circumventing DRM to repair or diagnose a variety of items including motorized vehicles, devices primarily used by consumers and medical devices. There was originally an exemption for modification, but that was removed before the final draft was implemented.

2: Producer is Copyright Owner in Film…

Next up today, Sebin James at Live Law reports that an Indian High Court has ruled that it is the producer of the film that is the copyright holder and that crediting the author for the story and/or the screenplay is not an acknowledgement of their copyright.

The case deals with author and director S.J. Suryah. Suryah was seeking an injunction against producer Fakrudeen Ali, who had bought the remake rights to the Vaalee. A trial court granted an interim injunction in the case but declined to hand down a permanent one, prompting Suryah to appeal.

Now the High Court has ruled that Suryah, as the author, of the film, still holds the copyright to the story and the screenplay but the film itself is owned by the producer. As such, the court lifted the injunction and to move forward with a remake of the film in the Hindi language.

3: Japan’s Manga Piracy Crackdown Continues

Finally today, Brian Ashcraft at Kotaku reports that the piracy crackdown in Japan is continuing and that the four major manga publishers in the country are preparing to team up to file a lawsuit against the alleged operators of the site Manga Bank.

The news comes after a U.S. Court recently ordered Google to reveal the identity of the alleged operator. Though the site itself has been shuttered for some time, that has not stopped the publishers from pushing the case. This is in part because, according to their reports, Manga Bank represents the largest copyright infringement in Japan’s history.

Manga Bank was a replacement site for Manga-Mura, whose operator was arrested in 2019 and was found guilty in June 2021.

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