AASA Lauds Exemptions To The Digital Millennium Copyright Act 

AASA Lauds Exemptions To The Digital Millennium Copyright Act 

Exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act will allow access for independent repair providers, according to AASA.

In what the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) is calling a “victory for motor vehicle suppliers and the independent aftermarket,” the Library of Congress has expanded exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that allow greater access to vehicle software by independent repair providers for diagnostic and repair services. MEMA, and two of its divisions, the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) and MERA – The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing, had requested these exemptions in the DMCA to protect consumer choice in both automotive replacement components and service.

In a notice published in the Federal Register, the Acting Director of the U.S. Copyright Office acknowledged MEMA’s comments in support of expanding exemptions for vehicle repair to allow third-party providers to service vehicles on behalf of owners. The existing exemption for vehicle software only applied to vehicle owners and prevented third party service providers from performing diagnostic and repair work.

“This is an important issue for MEMA, AASA and MERA, striking at the heart of consumers’ freedom to choose where their vehicles are maintained and how they are repaired,” said Bill Long, AASA president and COO and executive vice president, government affairs, MEMA. “We are pleased that the U.S. Copyright Office heard the voice of automotive aftermarket suppliers on this critical issue.”

The new exemption for motorized land vehicles “removes the requirement that circumvention be undertaken by the authorized owner of the vehicle, instead providing that it apply where such items are lawfully acquired.” This could extend to third party service providers, provided they do not violate anti-trafficking provisions of copyrighted software.

In addition, the Copyright Office also removed the language excluding access to computer programs for the control of telematics or entertainment systems, due to the “increasing integration of vehicle computer systems.” However, the Copyright office stated: “While the broadened exemption permits incidental access to a vehicle infotainment system, it provides that such access is allowed only to the extent it is a necessary step to allow the diagnosis, repair, or lawful modification of a vehicle function” and includes the additional requirement that circumvention may not be “accomplished for the purposes of gaining unauthorized access to other copyrighted works.”

MEMA says its legal counsel is currently reviewing the notice and is working on a more thorough analysis.

As it did during the sixth triennial review of the DMCA, MEMA asserted in March 2018 that the U.S. Copyright Office can issue a narrowly-tailored exemption for vehicle diagnosis, repair or modification that better communicates the intent of the current vehicle repair exemption while remaining faithful to existing law.

In the March 2018 comments, MEMA argued that striking a balanced exemption would preserve consumers’ right to choose their automotive repair service provider: “MEMA is confident that the Copyright Office can once again strike an appropriate balance between the rights of vehicle owners and the rights of intellectual property owners. One way to do so would be to define exemption beneficiaries less restrictively, while retaining the other restrictions in the existing exemption for vehicle diagnosis, repair and modification. Such an exemption would not provide a green light to companies to traffic in products designed to circumvent access and copy controls. It would merely recognize that existing law already authorizes consumers to have their vehicles repaired and serviced by vehicle repair technicians of their choosing and give them a means of doing so.”

You May Also Like

MEMA’s Ana Meuwissen Speaks at TRB Roadway Safety Conference

A panel discussion on June 25 featured industry leaders discussing advancements in roadway safety.


MEMA's Ana Meuwissen, senior vice president, government affairs, participated in a panel at the recent TRB Roadway Safety Conference in Orlando, FL. The panel took place on the morning of June 25th, featuring industry leaders discussing advancements in roadway safety.

Meuwissen was joined by Nat Beuse, head of safety, Aurora; Brian Latouf, president and global chief safety and quality officer, Hyundai; and Derwood Sheppard from the Florida Department of Transportation. Together, they shared insights and strategies aimed at enhancing road safety through innovative technologies and policies.

MEMA Top Suppliers Directory Open For Submissions

The deadline to submit or update information for the 2024-2025 directory is Friday, Aug. 16.

MEMA Aftermarket Startup Challenge Returns

The challenge will enable emerging aftermarket technology startups to showcase their innovations that will impact the future of the industry, the organization said.

MEMA Aftermarket Startup Challenge Returns
SEMA Announces Board of Directors’ Election Results

The board members are elected by SEMA-member companies and represent the key membership categories: manufacturers, distributors/retailers, manufacturers’ rep, and services.

SEMA Issues Statement on SB 301 Being Vetoed

SEMA announced it is “deeply disappointed” that California’s Senate Bill 301, legislation aimed at incentivizing the conversion of gas and diesel-powered cars into ZEVs, was vetoed by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

NREL zero emissions vehicles
Other Posts
MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers Accepting Applications for Tech Demos

The demos will be held at the 2024 Aftermarket Technology Conference, October 13-15, in Clearwater Beach, Florida.

MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers Previews Aftermarket Technology Conference
Goodyear Belts’ Tara Cevallos Named OAC Chair

Cevallos is a second-generation member of the Overseas Automotive Council, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.

Auto Care Industry Expected to Grow 5.7% in 2024

The 2025 Auto Care Factbook projects the total automotive aftermarket to hit $617.3 billion in 2027. 

Virginia Will Not Adopt California’s ICE Ban

SEMA applauds Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s action to reverse the state’s EV mandates.

Opposition Grows for California’s Mandate Banning New Gas-Powered Vehicle Sales