DMCA exemptions posted: wins for accessibility, libraries

The US Copyright Office has posted four classes of exemptions to the DMCA on its official website. The classes include:

  1. Compilations of lists of Internet sites blocked by filtering software (not including those blocked by systems that “operate exclusively to protect against damage to a computer or computer network” or “prevent receipt of email” (examples?);
  2. Computer programs secured by dongles where the dongle has malfunctioned or is obsolete (examples?)
  3. Computer programs and video games distributed in “obsolete formats” that require access to the original media to operate (e.g. copy protected games or other software that require access to the original disk)
  4. E-books, where all e-book editions of the work prevent having the book read aloud and prevent screen readers from reading the book aloud (Sklyarov, anyone?)

These exemptions appear to supersede the previous exemptions, which may be bad news because the new exemptions open some new ground while rolling back others. In particular the first exemption is more narrowly defined than the original version and seems to un-exempt email blacklists.

Additional discussion and anticipation of the ruling: Technorati.