Boucher Introduces FAIR USE Act, Aiming To Make The DMCA Much Less Egregious

from the is-this-guy-really-a-politician? dept

Rep. Rick Boucher certainly looks like the digital consumer's best friend on Capitol Hill, with his long-running attempts to reform the DMCA as well as his support for fair use, an idea that many politicians hold with disdain. Boucher has again introduced legislation that would, among other things, create a DMCA exemption for private, non-commercial copies of digital content. The EFF notes some of its other aims, such as making it clear that manufacturers can't be held liable for infringing use of devices with substantial non-infringing uses (basically putting the Betamax decision into law). The bill would also add 12 exemptions to the DMCA to allow for the circumvention of DRM for lawful, classically recognized fair use purposes. Given the way these issues are generally treated by Congress, this bill sounds pretty stellar. But Boucher and other legislators that have introduced other, similar bills haven't had much success in actually getting them passed. Let's hope that this time is different.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Eric the Grey, Feb 27th, 2007 @ 7:14pm

    It's about time...

    However, it may be too little, too late. The politicians are beholding to their contributors, who are, or represent the interests of big business.

    Three guesses who they are.

    I'll keep my fingers crossed, but I'm not going to hold my breath.


    EtG

     

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  2.  
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    MISSING, Feb 27th, 2007 @ 7:49pm

    woohoo!!

    Does this mean that if it passes, I can't be held liable for my 200 gigs of unaccountable music? or does it just mean that i can't be prosecuted for circumventing the copyprotections on the ones I do have that were DRMed?

     

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  3.  
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    Alucardbsm, Feb 27th, 2007 @ 8:20pm

    I'm not hopeful

    I think the MPAA and RIAA will defiantly push their lobbyists on this one.

     

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  4.  
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    ScytheNoire, Feb 27th, 2007 @ 8:24pm

    They need to run commercials stating how the RIAA/MPAA want to stop users from having rights with the content they have purchased. They need to better inform the public. And they need to add some family values bullshit to the bill, so that any one against this bill is against family values.
    I hate that bullshit made-up term.

     

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  5.  
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    misanthropic humanist, Feb 27th, 2007 @ 8:54pm

    Re: I'm not hopeful

    "I think the MPAA and RIAA will defiantly push their lobbyists on this one."

    They don't need to. I followed some of the very interesting links given in TFA and what you have in the USA Congress is truly frightening. Boucher hasn't a chance, almost to the last man and woman they are uniformly brainwashed. You have senators that do not understand intellectual property, do not understand fair use, and don't even understand the simplest principles of law. What they do understand they ignore unless it fits in with their established beliefs and loyalties.

    Lobyists have completely destroyed American politics from where I'm seeing it. Your politicians are so enchanted by their corporate puppet-masters that they do not even pretend to have loyalty to the constituents they serve.

    Seriously, the only way forward for politics in the USA is to sweep the board clean and take revolutionary measures to remove every serving person from office and replace them with some younger blood. You need people who have the first fucking clue about what is going on in the world today, people who have a modecum of ethics and social conscience. You need to completely dismantle the lobbying circus and make it illegal to seek political influence through bribery (which is what lobbying is under a fancy name).

    It's a cold comfort to see Boucher stand for common sense and moderation, but I'm sure he won't succeed. With the system so fundamentally broken you can't really hope for this to be anything but a token effort which maintains the illusion of democracy and political diversity.

    False hope is worse than none in many ways. I hope I'm wrong.

     

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  6.  
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    Erv, Feb 27th, 2007 @ 9:08pm

    no surprise

    No surprise that this won't pass, all those out of touch old farts on capital hill are the ones calling the internet a "series of tubes" remember?

     

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  7.  
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    Erv Laporte, Feb 27th, 2007 @ 9:08pm

    no surprise

    No surprise that this won't pass, all those out of touch old farts on capital hill are the ones calling the internet a "series of tubes" remember?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2007 @ 9:35pm

    Senator For Sale! Senator For Sale!

    They should introduce these kinds of bills all the time. If they really want these bills not to become law then they should at least suck the RIAA dry financially..

    .. then pass the bill anyway :)

     

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  9.  
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    Chris, Feb 28th, 2007 @ 12:32am

    Re: Re: I'm not hopeful

    misanthropic humanist -- Well said mate, couldn't agree more.


    I also believe congress needs to be completely dismantled and start a-new with No Name candidates that are elected on their track records, not promises they "intend" to keep. Being a republican or democrat no longer means you're either conservative or liberal, it means you agree to shovel out whatever BS the party decides is the most important 4-6 key topics that are in the meida. Whatever's in the damn media shouldn't be the concern of the US Congress. Improving foreign relations, offering technology as a form of aid to under developed nations, and embracing NIC's instead of trying to draft insulting legislation like NAFTA that we'll never honor, is what needs to be the primary objective. I hope congress continues on it's rampant stampede into the completely unparalled dominion of cluelessness. The youth today, the ones who will graduate college and go on, will be more educated in all mannerisms of life, that hopefully they'll see why the current installments of government needs to be done away with and as quickly as possible.

     

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  10.  
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    |333173|3|_||3, Feb 28th, 2007 @ 2:19am

    End lobbying

    To end lobbying, forbid all donations not from private individuals, and force all politicians to declare who gave them money. ALternaltiverly, use only federal funding, with a deposit (say $1000 or perhaps more) which is refunded if they get say 5% of teh total vote in that constiuency to ensure that a) someone coming home from the pub does not stand for election when drunk, and b) the person standing thinks they have a reasonable chance of getting voted for. It would not be hard to legislate to ensure taht the politicians use the funds appropriately (like not going off to the coast for a holiday witht eh money).

     

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  11.  
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    Mike, Feb 28th, 2007 @ 2:57am

    Where does the line start?

    If some business person had the ability to ask the general public for donations to air commercials on TV and radio, buy print ads in newspapers, and buy print ads in magazines to educate the public about fair use, I would be the first in line to contribute.

    Why have the citizens who do understand the rights we are losing not stood up for those rights? Why have we not banded together and made our thoughts clear in public instead of on blog comments and forums?

    Where does the line start? I want to be one of the first in it?

    Why? Why? Why?

     

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  12.  
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    Cixelsid, Feb 28th, 2007 @ 3:57am

    Insurance

    Car insurance, Life insurance, medical insurance, fucking funeral insurance. We're all stuck in our comfort zones, everyday wishing we had better jobs, better wives, better kids, better fucking lives, but we're too sad to fucking do anything about it, so we complain all day, and allow the moneygrubbers and the ambitious greedy to kick us in our faces on their way to the top.

     

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  13.  
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    Xiera, Feb 28th, 2007 @ 6:25am

    Using the media against the media

    The automatic assumption that such a bill would fail, although semi-amusing, is really quite sad.

    Yes, I realise that representatives do not necessarily take into consideration what their representees want. But rather than sit back and whine about this fact, we -should- be writing to our reps and spreading the word to encourage others to do the same. Put your local reps on the spot. If the media is well-used and the bill is popular enough, they'll have to make a tough decision that may impact their re-election.

    Boucher is providing an opportunity for us (the citizens) to voice our opinions. He's giving us the chance to change the way people view free use.

    Take advantage of this opportunity: spread the word, use the media, and write to your reps.

    You know, or just sit around and whine when it doesn't get passed... whichever's easier.

     

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  14.  
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    hbpantherfan, Feb 28th, 2007 @ 7:33am

    drm boycott

    The legislation broadening the definition of fair use sounds reasonable and hopefully if you are taking time to write your thoughts here, you will cut copy and paste them to your representatives to help support the new bill.

    Typically, consumers speak very loudly with their pocketbooks. Because media merchants have imposed DRM technology on their consumers, even to the extent of imbedded rootkits, I personally have not participated in the commerce of ANY material in which such technology that limits fair use is imbedded. I encourage others to do the same.

    Send a clear signal that the marketplace will not stand for iTunes, Sony, MS and other providers who utilize technology such that it prevents the freedom of legitimate buyers to transfer media from one device to another, to make archive copies (noncommercial use) to protect their investments and other legitimate fair use practices.

     

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  15.  
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    Emilio, Feb 28th, 2007 @ 9:29am

    It's legal to own a firearm. It is illegal to use that firearm in the commision of a robbery or other crime.

    It should be legal to circumvent DRM for legitimate fair use. It should be illegal to circumvent DRM for illegal purposes, such as large-scale piracy.

    Make sense?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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