Fair Use Act Introduced in Congress

The Fair Use Act, which would codify rules about use of copyrighted material, is supported by the Consumer Electronics Association

Congress has taken up legislation aimed at allowing consumers fair use of digital media, and at allowing journalists and academics more freedom to use copyrighted works, while codifying existing rights. But, there is much disagreement over whether or not the legislation is effective.

The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Democratic Rep. Rick Boucher of Virginia and Republican Rep. John Doolittle of California, and is formally titled the Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship Act of 2007, or “Fair Use Act.”

The Fair Use Act was quickly praised by the Consumer Electronics Association, which called it “pro-consumer” and “pro-innovation.” However, the Recording Industry Association of America announced its opposition to the measure, claiming it would “legalize hacking” and jeopardize the record industry’s intellectual property. Others, including several tech bloggers, argued that the bill goes not nearly far enough in reforming the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The bill has not yet been referred to a specific committee.

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