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Boucher's DMCRA sandbags Pigopolists, DMCA

Sun, Gateway, Intel, Verizon back Fair Use leg

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As we reported yesterday, some of the biggest names in IT names were on hand to support a legislation from Rep. Rick Boucher unveiled this morning. Boucher vowed to strike out the repressive portions of the DMCA, and "directs 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."

Intel, Sun, Gateway and Verizon signed on to support Boucher's proposed Digital Media Consumers’ Rights Act (DMCRA) which complements a similar proposal from San Jose representative Zoe Lofgren, the Digital Choice And Freedom Act Of 2002" (DCFA).

No longer need ETLAs* beginning with a 'D' strike fear into the hearts of honest women and men, and this represents the IT industry's most visible support for digital fair use.

Boucher raised the spectre of pay-per-use libraries in the future if the copyright holders were not checked.

"Under the 1998 law, copyright owners now have the power virtually to extinguish the Fair Use doctrine with respect to material delivered in digital format. Even a simple technological protection measure, such as a password, can be placed in front of copyrighted material and a small payment then exacted for every use of the material. Inevitably, more and more copyright owners will use this broad legal power," he said in a press statement.

The DMCA also penalized the disabled, academics and Linux users, he said.

The EFF urged its 7,000 members to support the legislation.

You can find the bill itself here [59kb PDF], Boucher's statement here here, and a summary here. ®

* Nor for that matter, DELTAs or VELTAs.

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