EFF: Obscure bill could turn cache into cash for music biz

EFF: Obscure bill could turn cache into cash for music biz

Summary: Since earlier this summer, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is putting out the equivalent of a red alert about some language that it says has been snuck into an obscure copyright bill -- language that the EFF says could smash Internet fair use.  According to the warning:The entertainment industry has sneaked language into an obscure copyright bill that could smash Internet fair use.

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TOPICS: Legal
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Since earlier this summer, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is putting out the equivalent of a red alert about some language that it says has been snuck into an obscure copyright bill -- language that the EFF says could smash Internet fair use.  According to the warning:

The entertainment industry has sneaked language into an obscure copyright bill that could smash Internet fair use. The law implies that licenses from copyright holders are needed for every digital copy made in the transmission of digital media -- including cached copies on servers or on your hard drive, and even temporary copies in RAM. The bill is headed for a key vote in the House Judiciary committee in the next two weeks. Don't let the music industry turn your cache into their cash.

A posting on the EFF Web site goes into a bit more detail about the problematic wording in the bill known as S1RA:

The bill suggests that even RAM buffer copies must be licensed. But incidental copies made in the course of otherwise lawful activities should be treated either as outside the scope of a copyright holder's rights or as a fair use (even the Copyright Office agrees on the fair use point). So while the music services get the licenses they need, this creates a dangerous precedent in the Copyright Act that will come back to haunt other digital technologies that depend on incidental copies -- now the implication will be that every one of those needs a license, too. After all, Google has already faced a lawsuit from Perfect 10 claiming that browser cache copies are infringing unless authorized by the copyright owner. 

The EFF home page has a giant image/link that drives you straight to the page where you can take action (like, contact your lawmaker).  Unfortunately, that page's built-in congressperson finder wasn't working for me when I last paid a visit.

Topic: Legal

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4 comments
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  • ... Profit!

    Wow -- this is a gold mine. Think of the [b]BILLIONS[/b] in damages that they can get for contributory infringement from all of the makers of CD players, DVD players, digital television, ....

    Every blessed one makes a transient copy in the course of operation. I tell you, this could be the best thing for American business in decades.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
  • I find it amusing

    That in the [url=http://www.copyright.gov/reports/studies/dmca/dmca_study.html]comments for[/url] [url=http://www.copyright.gov/reports/studies/dmca/dmca_executive.html]the DMCA Study[/url] on whether or not to extend section 117 to cover all Digital Media, the media companies argued that it wasn't required as they claimed they wouldn't call such infringement, but rather fair use and ISPs were protected through changes to section 5 made through the DMCA, however they now claim that they don't consider it this why at all.

    In fact they argued that those arguing for section 117 temp RAM/Cache exemptions of all digital media were claiming the sky was falling when in fact it was not.

    Isn't that amusing??

    This is also amusing;

    [i] We also find that the use of technological measures that prevent the copying of a work potentially could have a negative effect on the operation of section 117. To the extent that a technological measure prohibits access to a copyrighted work, the prohibition on the circumvention of measures that protect access in section 1201(a)(1) may have an adverse impact on the operation of the archival exception in section 117. Again, however, the current impact of such a concern appears to be minimal, since licenses generally define the scope of permissible archiving of software, and the use of CD-ROM reduces the need to make backup copies.[/i]

    Considering the [url=http://www.infoworld.com/article/06/01/10/73755_HNcdlifespan_1.html]lifespan of a CD is two years[/url] acording to IBM physicist and storage expert Kurt Gerecke!!

    Really everything the RIAA/MPAA/BSA argued wouldn't happen in 2000 has happened.

    The sky done fell.
    Edward Meyers
  • And this is the industry ?

    ? the computer industry wants to be nice to? Its obvious the established entertainment industry does not like the consumer electronics or computer industry ? or even consumers. A person?s (or company?s) actions bear witness of who he really is. All these parties should be waging a war against the entertainment industry, ensuring that its relentless efforts against fair use are demolished.
    P. Douglas
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