Auto Care Association, MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers applaud FTC and DOJ’s support toward Right to Repair

The Auto Care Association has expressed strong support for the recent comments submitted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division (DOJ) to the U.S. Copyright Office.

These comments advocate for the renewal and expansion of exemptions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which facilitate consumers’ and businesses’ right to repair their own products, including vehicles.

“Auto Care Association supports the Joint Comment of the DOJ and the FTC encouraging the Librarian of Congress to renew and expand repair-related exemptions that would promote competition in markets for replacement parts, repair and maintenance services, as well as facilitate competition in markets for repairable products,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association.

“In particular, on behalf of the entire automotive aftermarket, Auto Care Association agrees with the DOJ and the FTC that the Class 7 exemption to allow vehicle owners and repair facilities greater access to vehicle diagnostic and telematics data for monitoring purposes is critically important to lower the cost of repairs, improve access to repair services, and minimize costly and inconvenient delays,” Hanvey said.

The proposed exemptions aim to allow for the circumvention of technology protection measures that restrict access to copyrighted content for non-infringing purposes, such as vehicle diagnosis, maintenance or repair. This move is expected to promote competition in the markets for replacement parts, repair, and maintenance services, making it easier and more cost-effective for consumers and businesses to fix their vehicles.

The Auto Care Association believes that this initiative will significantly benefit the automotive aftermarket by providing consumers and independent repair shops with increased access to the necessary tools, software and information. This could lead to a more competitive market, potentially driving down repair costs and offering motorists a broader range of options for vehicle maintenance and repair.

Paul McCarthy, President and CEO of MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers, also weighed in on the recent development.

“The DOJ and FTC’s comments speak to the strength of the arguments MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers, and its members, have been making in support of consumers’ right to repair their vehicles,” said McCarthy. “Their conclusion supports our point that consumers will benefit from having more repair options and that they can utilize these options in a cybersecure way. This goal should guide our policymaking efforts.” 

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