Second, with respect to consumer electronics devices and other equipment, the conferees included a "no mandate" provision which should reassure manufacturers of future digital telecommunications, consumer electronics and computing products that they have the design freedom to choose parts and components in designing and building new equipment. Read together with other provisions of the measure and other parts of the relevant legislative history, the `no mandate’ provision confirms that Congress does not intend to require equipment manufacturers to design new digital telecommunications equipment, consumer electronics and computing products to respond to any particular copy protection technology.
Third, the conferees also clarified that manufacturers, retailers and professional services can make "playability" adjustments to their equipment without fear of liability. Recognizing that, whether introduced unilaterally or after a multi-industry development process, a copy protection technology might cause playability problems, the conferees explicitly stated that makers or servicers of consumer electronics, telecommunications or computing products can mitigate these problems without being deemed to have violated the measure’s prohibition against circumvention of a copy protection technology. Equipment manufacturers should thus be able to make product adjustments without fear of liability, and retailers and professional servicers should not feel burdened with the threat of litigation in repairing videocassette recorders and other popular products for their customers.
Taken together, these provisions demonstrate that the legislation is not intended to diminish core fair use and other rights that have always been recognized in our copyright law. These provisions confirm that the measure does not limit the development and use of consumer electronics, telecommunications, and computer products used by libraries, universities, schools and consumers everyday for perfectly legitimate purposes.