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'Play' button - not 'Pay Button'
By Jon Newton,
(more articles from this author)
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Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: Mi2N/ - October 4, 2002

A bill which would mean major changes to the Recording Industry Association of America-(RIAA)inspired 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has been introduced by congressmen Rick Boucher (D-VA) and John Doolittle (R-CA).

Their Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act would add fair use protections to US copyright law and direct the Federal Trade Commission to, "undertake a rulemaking to assure adequate notice to the public of any lack of functionality which may attend the purchase of copy protected CDs". Go here for a statement from Boucher.

The bill came on the heels of the Digital Choice and Freedom Act of 2000, introduced by congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) which also calls for fair use provisions, and to guard consumers' rights to copy digital media for personal use.

Lofgren's bill, "gives lawful consumers the ability to make personal uses of digital entertainment such as music, movies, and books. In addition, the bill recognizes that digital piracy will never be truly solved until consumers are given an affordable, reliable, legitimate and secure alternative."

Both go up against odious Hollywood-backed proposals offered by senator Ernest Hollings, (D-SC) and congressman Howard L. Berman, (D-LA) which, among other things, call for 'anti-piracy' technologies to be physically inserted into consumer appliances.

Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President and CEO Gary Shapiro congratulated Boucher and Doolittle for introducing, "important and pro-consumer legislation".

"Their approach ensures that the play button does not become the pay button as digital technologies proliferate," said Shapiro, referring to the Boucher-Doolittle 'Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act' .

"This bill adds critical fair use protections to U.S. copyright law. Everywhere we look, Americans' fair use rights and the Supreme Court's Betamax holding are under attack. Representatives Boucher and Doolittle recognize that, as we move into the digital age, the public needs these protections to be strengthened, not weakened. This bill also protects consumers by making sure they are not fooled into buying 'copy protected' compact disks that will not play in cars, computers, or DVD players.

"Consumers feel strongly about preserving their fair use rights. Preliminary results of a recent survey of online consumers conducted by CEA's eBrain Market Research to be released next week found that 80 percent of consumers believe it is not illegal to make a copy of a CD or DVD for their own personal use or for use by someone in their family.

"CEA and the entire consumer electronics industry are proud to recognize again Representative Boucher's leadership over the past five years in working to uphold consumers' non-commercial enjoyment of authorized recordings and copies. We thank him and Representative Doolittle for introducing this bill and look forward to participating in additional inter-industry discussions as this bill moves through the Congress."

Related News from Mi2N:
» Statement Of Congressman Rick Boucher Upon Introduction Of The Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act
» CEA Applauds Congressmen Boucher And Doolittle For Protecting Consumers

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