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The FTC and DOJ think McDonald’s ice cream machines should be legal to fix

An image showing McDonald’s ice cream machine
Image: iFixit via YouTube

The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice’s antitrust division filed a comment with the US Copyright Office asking for an expanded exemption to copyright law for the right to repair certain devices. The comment was submitted on Thursday, amid the Copyright Office’s deliberations over whether to issue new exemptions to Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a law that prohibits breaking software copy protection. Under Section 1201, repairing your own devices can often become a copyright violation.

Exemptions to DMCA Section 1201 are issued every three years, as per the Register of Copyrights’ recommendation. Prior exemptions have been issued for jailbreaking cellphones and repairing certain parts of…

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