Legal Cover Likely For Consumer Auto Service Choices In US

In a victory for automotive aftermarket suppliers and remanufacturers, spearheaded by the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), the US Copyright Office is continuing its examination of the Digital Millennial Copyright Act (DCMA) and protection of consumer choice in both automotive replacement components and service, and to allow for a level playing field for all service industry participants.
In its most recent comments to the US Copyright Office, MEMA noted, “Consumers have come to rely on the independent aftermarket to provide both quality repair parts and related services. A consumer who has lawful access to copyrighted works, such as a car owner who owns or has a valid license to the computer software in his or her vehicle, has a right to inspect or service those works – or enlist a third party to do so on his or her behalf – even if doing so would require circumvention of certain technological protection measures.”
“US copyright laws currently grant exemptions for vehicle owners who do their own repairs and service with regard to sensors or micro-computers with alleged TPMs protection,” Steve Handschuh, MEMA President and Chief Executive Officer, said. “However, other provisions limit the option of consumers to have their vehicles serviced and repaired with the software-enabled component of their choice – whether new, aftermarket or remanufactured – in the independent aftermarket.”
“This is an important success for MEMA, the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) and the Motor & Equipment Remanufacturers Association (MERA), MEMA’s divisions representing the light vehicle aftermarket and remanufacturing,”  Bill Long, AASA president and COO, said.
“Suppliers addressed this issue with their elected officials during the 2016 Legislative Summit, and their efforts have resulted in the U.S. Copyright Office’s continued study of the issue.”

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