[ISN] Senate Passed Digital Millenium Copyright ACT

From: mea culpa (jerichot_private)
Date: Fri Oct 09 1998 - 17:09:18 PDT

  • Next message: mea culpa: "[ISN] FBI's Wish is Granted"

    Forwarded From: phreak moi <hackerelitet_private>
    Senate passes copyright act
    By Courtney Macavinta
    Staff Writer, CNET News.com
    October 9, 1998, 10:55 a.m. PT
    The Senate has passed compromise legislation to impose new safeguards for
    software, music, and written works on the Net, and the House is expected
    to clear it by tomorrow. 
    As reported Wednesday, a joint-house conference committee resolved an
    array of issues regarding the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, including
    removing a contentious provision that would have given database owners
    broad powers to prevent others from using their valuable public data
    collections to launch competing businesses. 
    Still, lawmakers left in a provision to make it a crime in the United
    States to create, sell, or use any technology that could be used to break
    copyright protection devices, including encryption, firewalls, or digital
    watermarks. Violators could be charged up to $2,500 per act of
    In addition, the compromise bill no longer contains a provision created
    jointly by the Recording Industry Association of America, the Digital
    Media Association, and members of Congress to require Webcasters--such as
    the budding group of Net radio stations--to pay licensing fees to record
    companies, which could take a large chunk out of their gross revenues. 
    However, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is taking the lead to bring up the
    database bill as separate legislation next year, and in addition he has
    attached the digital music licensing fee to another bill moving through
    Congress now. 
    Although the Senate approved the compromise bill, the House has yet to act
    and pulled the bill off its calendar yesterday. However, observers expect
    it to be taken up today or tomorrow. 
    The copyright legislation was introduced shortly after treaties signed at
    the World Intellectual Property Organization's Geneva conference on
    digital information and copyrights in December 1996. 
    But the U.S. bills go much farther than the treaties.  That has sparked a
    heated debate. On one side are the powerful movie, record, and software
    industries arguing that they need better laws to protect intellectual
    property because the Net makes it easier for people to illegally copy and
    distribute their products, which in turn could stifle their e-commerce
    On the other side are academia, computer researchers, and libraries,
    contending that several parts of the bill would let companies build a
    digital toll gate around their content, allowing them to charge people
    every time they access material that is now free in a library or purchased
    for indefinite use such as films in a home video collection--rights made
    possible under the "fair use" provision in current law. 
    Trying to find a balance between both sides, the conference committee made
    significant changes to the legislation. 
    Most importantly, the conferees scrapped a section to lay out new
    protections for electronic databases.  In May, the House passed the
    Collections of Information Antipiracy Act as a stand-alone bill in
    addition to adding it to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. 
    The provision would have made it illegal for others to extract information
    from a database and make it available elsewhere--if such an act would
    "harm"  the database company's current or potential business. 
    Although foes of the database provision won that battle, there still is
    concern about the so-called black box provision, which makes it a crime to
    use, sell, manufacture, or import technologies that could be used to crack
    copyright protection devices. 
    The bill does permit cracking copyright protection devices to conduct
    encryption research, for the purpose of product interoperability, and to
    test computer security systems. The librarian of Congress also will work
    with the Commerce Department to study whether these technological barriers
    stifle fair-use access to copyrighted materials after the bill is passed. 
    The bill also carries a handful of safe harbors that limit Net access
    providers' liability for copyright infringements made by their customers. 
    Subscribe: mail majordomot_private with "subscribe isn".
    Today's ISN Sponsor: Repent Security Incorporated [www.repsec.com]

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Apr 13 2001 - 13:07:01 PDT