- allow circumventing DRM on DVDs in order to include excerpts into educational materials, documentaries, and non-commercial videos
- allow cell phones owners to break controls so that the phones can be used on different wireless networks
- allow video game owners to break protections to correct security flaws
- allow computer owners to bypass external security dongles if they no longer work
- allow blind/vision-impaired people to break locks on ebooks so they can be used with read-aloud software.
You may be wondering why there is even a need for such otherwise common-sense guidelines. It just goes to show how short-sighted the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyrights Act) turned out to be.
Unfortunately, these exemptions expire in a few years and are not permanent laws. It certainly makes trying to be an upstanding citizen a difficult process, especially as so many law-enforcement groups follow the ‘innocence is no excuse’ rule of thumb.