SEMA to Advocate Stance on Copyright Law

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

In response to a petition and formal comments filed with the U.S. Copyright Office by public interest groups and auto industry stakeholders, SEMA will submit comments supporting the right of industry members and vehicle owners to maintain and upgrade their cars and trucks. The move comes as the Copyright Office considers requests for exemptions from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Enacted in 1998, the DMCA makes it illegal to circumvent technological firewalls put in place by a copyright owner to prevent copyrighted works from being illegally copied, distributed or used to create derivative works. SEMA’s position maintains that industry members and enthusiasts have today, and have always had, the right to access vehicle systems and components in order to utilize, maintain and upgrade their vehicles, copyright laws notwithstanding. Although SEMA believes these rights stand regardless of an exemption from the DMCA, the association will actively engage in the rulemaking procedure and work to prevent any Copyright Office ruling that would curtail the opportunity to access, maintain and modify vehicles within the law. SEMA’s position signals that the association will advocate on all fronts to ensure that copyright, safety and environmental laws are not used to unfairly curtail these rights.