Fair Use bill introduced "Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act"

Bergman, Barbara J. (barbara.bergman@mnsu.edu)
Mon, 7 Oct 2002 07:36:41 -0700 (PDT)

Oct. 3 http://www.ala.org/washoff/alawon/

Today, Representatives Rick Boucher (D-Va.) and John Doolittle
(R-CA.)introduced legislation that reaffirms fair use in the
digital environment. The "Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act" (DMCRA)
proposes three key changes to sections of the
flawed Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.

These changes would:

*Bar the anti-circumvention provision of Section 1201 and only prosecute
those individuals with intent to infringe as in the rest
of the copyright law;

*Not criminalize anti-circumvention tools when the tools have
substantial non-infringing uses; and

*Broaden allowances for anti-circumvention research.

DMCRA focuses on many concerns of consumers and may not seem directly
related to library activities and library copyright
exemptions. However, this bill is a necessary first step to recognizing
the rights of copyright users. In addition, broad support of
DMCRA will put a damper on other legislation aimed at regulating digital
technology and mandating restrictive anti-copying
technologies.

Please call or write your Representative today and ask him or her to
co-sponsor this bill. Let your Representative know that the
copyright balance - protecting the interests of copyright holders and
the public - must be restored.

Your help is critical to permit non-infringing uses in the digital
environment and to allow scientific researchers the freedom to
conduct research on technology without the threat of litigation.

Another "ray of hope" in the copyright legislative arena: Rep. Zoe
Lofgren (D-CA.), a long supporter of libraries, has introduced
H.R 5522, the "Digital Choice and Freedom Act of 2002" signaling to
Congress that copyright law must be recalibrated to
restore consumer and public rights. We very much appreciate Rep.
Lofgren's strong interest in copyright and look forward to
working with her and other members of Congress on these very important
issues.