Alas, the bill already passed this weekend. Thankfully, most of the
really obnoxious legislation was stripped out:
November 22, 2004
For Immediate Release
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office: (202) 518-0020 x103
cell: (301) 908-7715
Background: The Senate late in its weekend session passed by unanimous
consent S 3021, a shorter version of the omnibus copyright legislation
(HR 2391) that had been introduced earlier in the session.
Statement of Gigi B. Sohn, president of Public Knowledge:
Consumers won a major victory when the Senate passed legislation
removing the most egregious elements of the omnibus copyright bill that
had previously been under consideration. We strongly support the version
of the Family Movie Act, included in the bill, which gives families more
control over how they watch movies and television, preserving the right
to skip over commercials. The bill will benefit consumers, both in their
entertainment choices now, and from the innovation in technology that
will result in coming years.
We are also pleased that HR 4077 was dropped from the bill that passed.
That legislation would have lowered the standard for copyright
infringement. The Senate also wisely removed the PIRATE Act, which would
have made the government the entertainment industryís private law firm
at taxpayer expense.
The Senate should also be commended for including in the bill
legislation helping to preserve orphan works and reauthorizing the
National Film Preservation Board. These features of the bill are
important steps in preserving our nationís culture. We look forward to
working with Congress in coming sessions to make further progress in
advancing consumer interests and preserving copyright balance.
A copy of the bill is available at:
Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
University of Georgia Libraries
Athens, GA 30602-1641
Tim Brooks wrote:
> Copyright Alert
> Everyone should know about three pieces of legislation which copyright
> holders are trying to push through the lame duck session of the current U.S.
> congress before it adjourns for the holidays.
> The "Database and Collections of Information Misappropriation Act" (HR 3261)
> would for the first time grant copyright protection to facts contained in
> databases. It is being pushed by some large directory publishers. This would put
> a lot of discographers out of business, not to mention comparison shopping
> sites, and fact-gathering aids of all kinds. The "Induce Act" (S.2560) would
> make it a crime to "induce" someone to violate copyright, even if that person
> was not under your control or the violation was unknown to you. This might well
> shut down this chat list. Fortunately there is significant opposition to both
> A bill given a much better chance of passing is the "Intellectual Property
> Protection Act" (HR 2391), an omnibus bill that gathers in once place a
> Christmas tree of goodies for media companies. It would limit how libraries can make
> available copyrighted material, restrict fair use, and even make it illegal
> to skip commercials on video recordings! There is a lot of good information on
> these bills at www.publicknowledge.org , which I highly recommend, including
> a suggested letter you can send to your congressman (see below). If
> politicians don't hear from us when these kinds of bills come up they stand a much
> better chance of passing. I'm told the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act (which
> keeps old recordings out of the public domain until 2067) was passed by voice
> vote at midnight!
> Here's their proposed letter:
> I write to you today to ask that you oppose the omnibus "Intellectual
> Property Protection Act," both as a whole and in its parts, and ask that you not
> allow it to come to the floor for a vote.
> I believe that intellectual property plays a critical role in the United
> States as a means of fostering both artistic expression and technological
> innovation. However, the IPPA, which is comprised of a number of individual bills,
> contains provisions that may harm my long-established rights as a legal user of
> content. Additionally, the bill may harm the development of new technologies.
> There are a number of sections of the bill that particularly concern me:
> Title II:
> The Piracy Deterrence in Education Act (formerly H.R. 4077): This section
> establishes "offering for distribution" as basis for criminal copyright
> violation and "making available" for civil violation, regardless of whether there is
> any distribution or copying, let alone infringement. This bill drastically
> lowers the standards for what constitutes a criminal copyright violation. The
> standards are far too vague and could include as targets for prosecution
> material passively stored on computers or shared on networks.
> The ART Act (formerly S. 1932): This is a bill that prohibits the
> unauthorized use of a video camera in a movie theatre. While I do not support movie
> bootlegging, I believe that under some limited circumstances the public needs the
> fair use protections granted under traditional copyright law, which this bill
> would eliminate.
> The Family Movie Act (formerly H.R. 4586): This bill was originally intended
> to protect the my right to use technology to skip-over and mute parts of a
> movie that my family may find objectionable-- a proposition which I fully
> support. Unfortunately, the broadcasting industry and Hollywood added a section to
> take away my right of skipping over ads in DVDs and recorded broadcasts with a
> TiVo like device.
> Title III:
> The PIRATE Act (formerly S. 2237): This bill would allow the Justice
> Department to file civil suits against copyright infringers. Especially with the
> record profits that the media industry is making, it doesn't seem appropriate
> that I as a tax payer should have to fund a corporation's private right of
> action. The Justice Department has even said it did not want this authority.
> There is too much in "The Intellectual Property Protection Act" that harms
> market innovation and my rights as a consumer. For the reasons above, I
> respectfully ask that you oppose H.R. 2391.