Technological measures are devices and technologies used by copyright owners to prohibit others from accessing and copying their work. Types of technological measures include scrambling or encrypting copyrighted material.

What Is Circumvention of a Technological Measure?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which prohibits circumvention of technological measures, defines circumvention as doing any of the following without the copyright owner’s permission:

  • Descrambling scrambled material
  • Decrypting encrypted material
  • Avoiding technological measures
  • Bypassing technological measures
  • Deactivating technological measures
  • Removing technological measures

The DMCA also strictly regulates circumvention devices and technologies by prohibiting them from being:

  • Used
  • Manufactured
  • Sold
  • Imported
  • Otherwise offered to the public

The anti-circumvention laws, however, are subject to the same exceptions to which copyright law is subject, such as:

  • Fair use
  • Use by nonprofit libraries
  • Use by educational institutions

Do I Need a Copyright Attorney?

If you are concerned that someone has circumvented technological measures protecting your copyrighted work, it is important for you speak to a intellectual property attorney, especially one with experience in anti-circumvention law.