Supplier Success: U.S. Copyright Office Reviewing Digital Millennial Copyright Act To Protect Consumer Auto Service Choices

Date: October 28, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a victory for automotive aftermarket suppliers and remanufacturers spearheded by the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), the U.S. 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 U.S. 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.”

“U.S. copyright laws currently grant exemptions for vehicle owners who do their own repairs and service with regards to sensors or micro-computers with alleged TPMs protection,” noted Steve Handschuh, MEMA president and chief executive officer. “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,” noted Bill Long, AASA president and COO. “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.”

The MEMA statement noted, “With its thousands of members in the automotive aftermarket industry, MEMA is acutely aware of the need to carefully balance the rights of copyright owners with those of consumers and independent businesses. With this in mind, MEMA respectfully urges the Copyright Office to clarify the importance of fair use in applying Section 1201. Doing so would alleviate concerns regarding the sometimes anti-competitive effects of Section 1201 while allowing copyright owners to maintain greater control over their works than a general exemption would allow for.” The full statement can be viewed here

About MEMA

The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) and its four specialized divisions comprise the leading international trade association in the fast-changing mobility industry. Representing vehicle suppliers that manufacture and remanufacture components, technologies, and systems for use in passenger cars and heavy trucks, MEMA works to ensure that the marketplace and legislative and regulatory environment support the development and implementation of new technical capabilities transforming the automotive industry, including autonomous vehicles and vehicle connectivity. By directly employing more than 734,000 Americans and generating a total employment impact of 3.6 million jobs, MEMA’s member companies are the largest sector of manufacturing jobs in the U.S.  MEMA’s members are represented through four divisions: Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA), Motor & Equipment Remanufacturers Association (MERA) and Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA). For more information on how MEMA is leading transformation in the mobility industry, visit www.mema.org.

About AASA

AASA (www.aftermarketsuppliers.org) exclusively serves manufacturers of aftermarket components, tools and equipment, and related products which support 710,000 employees in the United States. AASA is a recognized industry change agent – promoting a collaborative industry environment, providing a forum to address issues and serving as a valued resource for members. AASA is the light vehicle aftermarket division of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA). “AASA, The Voice for the Automotive Aftermarket Supplier Industry.”