Judge rules that EFF's DRM lawsuit can proceed!

In 2016, EFF sued the US Government on behalf of Andrew "bunnie" Huang and Matthew Green, both of whom wanted to engage in normal technological activities (auditing digital security, editing videos, etc) that put at risk from Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

EFF's lawsuit argues that Green and Huang's activities are constitutionally protected, and that DMCA 1201 -- which imposes a blanket ban on bypassing Digital Rights Management (DRM), without adequate safeguards for speech -- was unconstitutional.

The case has been sitting in limbo for over two years, waiting for the judge to rule on whether our clients’ claims could proceed, and, at long last, the judge has ruled and the case will go forward!

As my EFF colleague Kit Walsh writes, the ruling is a "mixed bag":

The ruling is a mixed bag. While the "as-applied" First Amendment claims will go forward, the court did not agree that rulemaking by the Librarian of Congress is subject to judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act, even when the Librarian is performing an executive branch function rather than a congressional one. The court also did not agree that the Librarian's rulemaking is subject to the First Amendment scrutiny that applies when a government official is making determinations about what speech to permit. Finally, the court saw no need to adjudicate the claims that Section 1201 is overly broad, because it concluded that determining the constitutionality of the statute as applied to the plaintiffs will turn on the same issues as with other potential targets of the law.

The bottom line is that the case is going forward and we will continue the fight to help you understand and modify the devices in your life and remix the culture we all share.

First Amendment Case Against Restrictive Copyright Law Can Proceed, Says Judge [Kit Walsh/EFF Deeplinks]