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November 22, 2004
Jumping Off the Omnibus
Absolutely fantastic news: the aspects of the copyright mashup bill that had so many of us worried were dropped before it passed in the Senate this weekend. The omnibus is now a minibus -- S 3021 [PDF].
Kudos to Public Knowledge, the Home Recording Rights Coalition, the Consumer Electronics Association, NetCoalition, and many others for their hard work in this fight.
Says Gigi Sohn in the PK press release:
Reuters has more
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 industrys 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 nations culture. We look forward to working with Congress in coming sessions to make further progress in advancing consumer interests and preserving copyright balance.
; so does CNet
Later: Derek Slater: "Take note again of how much better the public interest is being represented today than just a few years ago. Still playing a lot of defense, but at least it's relatively successful defense."
Later #2: Wendy Seltzer: "While much has been stripped out of the end-of-year copyright bill that passed the Senate over the weekend S. 3021, much that's harmful remains. Particularly egregious is a provision that hasn't gotten much attention, the 'Fraudulent Online Identity Sanctions Act.' Ostensibly aimed at infringers who hide behind false domain name registrations, the provision seriously penalizes those who merely want to protect their privacy."
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