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US Congress Urged To Postpone Consideration Of Copyright Bill

by Glen Shapiro, LawAndTax-News.com, New York

18 November 2004


Lobbying groups in the United States including the Computer and Communications Industry Association, the Consumer Electronics Association and the American Conservative Union have joined forces in an attempt to prevent the far-reaching Intellectual Property Protection Act from being pushed through Congress during the 'lame duck' session which began this week.

Objections have been raised with regard to several provisions in the Act, which combines several pending copyright bills. These include the virtual eradication of the concept of 'fair use' in US copyright law, the removal of US consumers' rights to skip promotional material on products such as DVDs, and the increased powers granted to the Department of Justice to punish copyright infringers.

Opponents of the bill have also suggested that it is worded in such a vague and ambiguous way that it could catch users of legal file-sharing services, such as Apple's iTunes application.

The Act has the overwhelming support of the recording and film industries. However, the varied group of lobbyists is asking lawmakers to delay consideration of the legislation until next year, in order to allow more hearings and debate on the matter to take place.


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