SCC Seeks Exemption From U.S. Section 1201
To Allow Toner Cartridges To Circumvent TPMs.
In the 2003 rulemaking cycle, the Copyright Office answered those questions in the affirmative. Static Control Components had sought an exemption from section 1201to allow its toner cartridges to circumvent TPMs on Lexmark’s Printer Engine Program. The Register of Copyrights recommended against this exemption, finding it was not necessary because “it appears that the congressional scheme sufficiently enables the noninfringing use sought without requiring the assistance of an exemption in this rulemaking.” After closely reviewing its language, the Register noted that section 1201(f) “has the capacity to satisfy interoperability with computer programs, such as the Printer Engine Program, in the marketplace….” The Register added that “if reverse engineering is conducted under the statutory exemption, a competitor may not only reverse engineer a computer program in order to create an independently interoperable computer program, but may also make the information or means of interoperability available to others….”