Read and weep …

…privacy advocates said the proposed bill would dramatically rewrite copyright law and require consumers to buy multiple licenses for the same content.

and this:

Another potential landmine inherent in SIRA is that it does not give copyright owners the right to opt out of licensing their works.

“The feeling is that if we give them the option to opt out, they’re all going to opt out thereby destroying the efficiency that they are designing,” said Aaron Davis, an intellectual property attorney with Patterson, Thuente, Skaar & Christensen. A blanket fee means a blanket price and opponents believe that the market should dictate copyright fees, he said.

And talk about losing out on fair use of any kind!

Here is a list of those opposing SIRA on the list at

EFF is also making citizens aware of the problem at their site

On June 8, CNET reported on the US House of Representatives passing this… I think they are calling it a bill.

This despite advocacy groups warnings:

Under copyright law, separate licenses exist for the “performance” of a song and for the reproduction or distribution of it. The consumer groups argued that the bill views digital recordings as falling into both categories, which could lead to “potentially duplicative fees” by forcing sellers to pay more than once for the same content. Those fees, some contend, would have to be passed on to consumers.

And by viewing digital music in such a light, they argued, Congress could open the door for requiring licenses for reproductions in other areas, ranging from time-shift recordings on VCRs or TiVos to analog cassettes or CDs recorded from the radio. Such a development could lead to a dangerous erosion in fair use rights, which permit consumers to copy copyrighted material without permission for noncommercial purposes.

The groups also charged that the bill would, for the first time, require licenses for every cache, buffer and other “incidental” copy of a song. “There is no basis for giving copyright owners added control because of incidental copies that have no independent economic value apart from the performance itself,” the letter said.

Granted, the bill provides that such a license would be “royalty-free”–that is, of no cost to the user. But the better approach would be to exempt those incidental copies entirely from the licensing regime…

(that last sentence was by Rep. Rick Boucher, a Virginia Democrat who added that he’d vote for the bill Thursday with the understanding that a number of changes would be made.)

<a href=”EFF’s SIRA link goes here:

Save Internet Fair Use!

Update — Thanks to your calls so far, we now have strong assurances that the committee will make key changes to the bill! Keep the calls coming to keep up the pressure!

The entertainment industry has sneaked language into an obscure copyright bill that could smash Internet fair use. The law implies that licenses from copyright holders are needed for every digital copy made in the transmission of digital media — including cached copies on servers or on your hard drive, and even temporary copies in RAM. The wording is being debated in a House Judiciary subcommittee on Wednesday (postponed to Thursday!). Don’t let the music industry turn your cache into their cash. Check below to see if your representative is on the right committee, and call them now!

<a href=”EFF’s SIRA page can help you know who to call and voice your opinion.

Thank you Cluttermagnet at Scot’s Newsletter forums for calling this to our attention.

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