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[vox] OT: M$'s take on the CBDTPA
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[vox] OT: M$'s take on the CBDTPA

It is interesting that M$ is actually against this piece of legislation. I
find it ironic that they are complaining that "Our digital technology
future would be frozen to this [the government's] standard..."  Of course,
it's okay with them if *they* do the standards freezing. :)

R. Douglas Barbieri

April 22, 2002
Congress Turns Attention to Consumers' Digital-Content Rights
Just Say "No!" to Harmful Technology Mandates

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bottom of this message.

Bill Gates, Chairman and Chief Software Architect for Microsoft, took the
stand today in the antitrust trial with the non-settling states. Just
before he entered the courtroom, Gates said, "I'm here to share my story
and answer questions about Microsoft and the PC industry. I hope that my
testimony helps the Court to resolve the issues in this case. That would
be best for consumers and the industry, and that's why I'm here."

But the antitrust case isn't the only issue of concern to consumers and
the industry. A new threat has erupted in the area of "Digital Rights
Management," or DRM. The DRM debate is over how to protect content
producers from piracy: By one-size-fits-all government mandate, or with
technology solutions developed in the IT marketplace?

This Thursday, the House Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications and
the Internet will hold hearings on DRM, taking a step toward drastically
limiting how consumers can use digital content, including music, video,
e-books and so on.

The House hearings follow a bill introduced last month by Senator Ernest
"Fritz" Hollings (D-SC) called the "Consumer Broadband and Digital
Television Promotion Act" (CBDTPA).  If enacted, CBDTPA would require any
device that can digitally "read" copyrighted works -- computers, MP3
players, car stereos, high definition televisions, to name just a few --
to include federally mandated copy protection technology.

Our digital technology future would be frozen to this standard.

FIN members can help set the terms of this debate. Here's what's at stake:

* Consumer choice. Your right to transfer lawfully acquired digital
content into other formats, such as recording music from a CD onto your PC
or PDA, would be severely limited.

* The IT industry. A federally mandated standard would hamstring the
industry, imposing unreasonable costs and delays that would degrade
product performance and drive up prices.

* Innovation. Government mandates would lock technology into a single
copy-protection standard, stopping companies from developing innovative
new products.

Protection of copyrighted materials is a serious issue. That's why
Microsoft and many other software and hardware companies already are
working hard to develop copy-protection technologies that meet the needs
of both consumers and content producers, including music companies,
Hollywood studios and the publishing industry.

We don't need legislation that freezes technology into a single DRM
standard. The marketplace should guide which systems emerge, not
one-size-fits-all regulation that would limit the development of new
digital media and copy-protection technology.

To learn what others are saying about the Hollings bill and the DRM debate, visit:

HELP STOP DRM LEGISLATION FIN Members can help stop DRM mandates now!
Before the House holds hearings on this issue, we urge you to share your
views on this critical issue with your U.S. Representative.

IT'S EASY TO TAKE ACTION NOW! Follow the link below, and in a few easy
steps, you can send your elected officials e-mail that communicates where
you stand on DRM mandates. http://www.freetoinnovate.com/

To cancel your subscription to this newsletter, please go to the following
website: http://www.freetoinnovate.com/_utilities/unsubscribe.asp

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