21 March 2002

Copy Protection Bill Introduced

Democratic senator, Fritz Hollings, from South Carolina finally has introduced his copy protection legislation, ending over six months of anticipation and sharpening what has become a heated debate between Hollywood and Silicon Valley.

The bill, called the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act (CBDTPA), prohibits the sale of any kind of electronic device -- unless that device includes copy-protection standards to be set by the federal government. ... Translation: Future MP3 players, PCs, and handheld computers will no longer let you make all the copies you want.

Read the full text of this atrocious act here ...

Reasons why you should oppose this bill and notify your legislative representatives ASAP:

  • Do you want the government really deciding what should left to the natural work of market forces.
  • This law potentially makes criminals out of software developers - again, the "authorities" can decide that a given software creation is devoid of "copy protections" and deem the author an outlaw.
  • How does Hollings come up with his "billions of dollars a year" figure with regard to piracy on the internet? Does he assume that every downloaded song is a lost purchase? In fact, empirical research shows that online music swapping has actually resulted in increased music CD sales.
  • The proposed legislation harms ordinary consumers while does nothing to curtail illegitimate transactions - any movie or CD can be purchased dirt cheap in Hong Kong or any other "pirate" haven.