30 Apr 2004 3:01 PM
|CONGRESSIONAL HEARING CALLED ON FAIR USE
321 STUDIOS PRESIDENT ASKED TO TESTIFY
Now is the time for consumers to effect change through www.protectfairuse.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 30, 2004 – A Congressional Hearing for H.R. 107, the Digital Media Consumers’ Rights Act (DMCRA), has been set for Wednesday, May 12, at 10:00 AM Eastern. The DMCRA has been acknowledged and endorsed by major industry players like Intel Corp., Philips Consumer Electronics, Sun Microsystems, Bell South, Verizon, SBC, Qwest, Gateway, and the Consumer Electronics Association, among others, as a necessary balancing mechanism to restore consumer’s fair use rights in the digital era. The hearing will take place before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection in Room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
The DMCRA, introduced by Reps. Rick Boucher (D-VA) and John Doolittle (R-CA) and co-sponsored by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX), would re-affirm consumer fair use rights and balance the otherwise one-sided protection afforded copyright owners under current interpretations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
321 Studios Founder and President Robert Moore has been asked to testify at this historic fair use Congressional hearing. 321 Studios is the developer of the award-winning DVDXCOPY series of DVD backup software – a product now banned in the United States after a group of Hollywood Studios sued the company, and two federal judges decided that DVDXCOPY was in violation of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
A recent nationwide demographic study of 321 Studios’ customers found that nearly 70% of their customers are parents who use DVDXCOPY to create backups of DVD’s before they can be damaged by their children.
“Why should moms and dads be forced to fork over another $20 or $30 bucks every time little Suzie or little Johnny damages their only copy of Shrek or Finding Nemo”, said Robert Moore. “Who needs that money more, parents or Hollywood?”
DVDXCOPY has been a top seller on retail store shelves like Best Buy and Wal-Mart until recent court injunctions forced the company to take the product down, resulting in nearly 300 layoffs to date at 321. “I had never heard of the DMCA when I started this company,” said Moore. “I assumed, like most Americans do, that if I can make a cassette recording of my old LP’s, tape a favorite television show or make a mix of an Audio CD to play in my car or my IPOD, that I also have the right to make a simple backup of my DVDs for my own personal use.”
“This is the technological equivalent of book burning” Moore continued. “DVDXCOPY has been banned because Hollywood claims it could potentially be used to commit copyright infringement, even though according to independent study and analysis, our customers are simply using it for their own personal, fair and lawful use. The very same potential infringement claims were made by Hollywood against the VCR, when Jack Valenti testified that the VCR was to Hollywood as the Boston Strangler was to the woman at home alone. How many more times will consumers and Congress allow Hollywood to cry wolf?”
In March, 321 Studios launched Five Days of Protest by directing customers and supporters to express their outrage. In just five days, consumers sent more than 111,000 emails and faxes to lawmakers, the media, and Hollywood Studio executives.
321 Studios urges the supporters of fair use to go to www.protectfairuse.org – a site sponsored by 321 that allows supporters to easily express their support of fair use directly to their Congressional representatives through emails, faxes, and telegrams.
“We are closer than ever before to re-affirming our fair use rights in the digital age,” Moore continued. “Grassroots voices are vital in the effort to support this hearing and H.R. 107. Go to www.protectfairuse.org and send an email, fax, or telegram to your representative. If possible, plan to attend the hearing in Washington, D.C. on May 12th to make your voice heard.”
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