Saturday, June 10, 2006

FMQB Reports on Copyright Laws

June 10, 2006

Copyright Laws Under Attack
June 9, 2006

An ongoing battle in Congress could have a wide-ranging effect on music copyrights, but also change the way people listen to music on their computers. A U.S. House Of Representatives panel has approved a draft of a reform act that would alter the language of who does or does not have the rights to make copies of recordings.

Coming out in support of the changes are the Digital Media Alliance (DiMA), National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), and the RIAA. In a joint statement, the organizations said, "Our member companies – digital music providers, music publishers and recording companies – stand much to gain from legislation that will bring music licensing into the digital era."

On the other hand, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has been joined by Sirius, XM and Radio Shack, among others. The EFF sent a letter to Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) saying the proposed legislation will "encroach in unprecedented ways upon long-held consumer rights to make private, personal uses of copyrighted works – rights that become even more vital and necessary for the public good in the digital age." They also note that the language in the bill "implies that licenses from copyright holders are needed for every digital copy made in the transmission of digital media - including cached copies on servers or on your hard drive, and even temporary copies."

Here is a the three page letter (click for PDF) submitted to the bill's authors, prepared by a coalition of 19 consumer-oriented advocacy groups and companies, including the American Association of Law Libraries, BellSouth, the Consumer Electronics Association, Public Knowledge, RadioShack, and Sirius and XM satellite radio, claiming the proposal poses a threat to fair use.

6/10/2006 09:04:00 AM

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