Conference Report (H. Rep. No. 105-796):
Representative Scott Klug in the House of Representatives (Cong. Rec. H10621) (daily ed. Oct. 12, 1998):
Finally, the conferees included specific language allowing product manufacturers to adjust their products to accommodate adverse effects caused by technological protection measures and copyright management information systems. These measures could have the effect of materially degrading authorized performances or displays of works, or causing recurring appreciably adverse effects. But, there was real fear in the manufacturing and retail communities of liability for circumvention if they took steps to mitigate the problem. I also felt particularly strong that consumers have the right to expect that the products they purchase will live up to their expectations and the retailing hype. So, the Commerce Committee faced another balancing act—preserving the value of the creative community while also affording consumers some basic protections and guarantees.
We were only able to achieve directive report language on “playability” in the committee process. Using the base established by the Commerce Committee, the conferees were able to craft explicit language exempting makers and servicers of consumer electronics, telecommunications, or computing products from liability if acting solely to mitigate playability problems. With this absolute assurance of freedom from suit under such circumstances, manufacturers should feel free to make product adjustments, and retailers, and professional services should not be burdened with the threat of litigation in repairing products for their customers.