|Press Release||More than 52000 members|
Digitalconsumer.org's statement regarding the introduction of "The Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Act of 2002" by Senator Ernest F. Hollings on March 21, 2002
Palo Alto, Calif. -- March 22, 2002 -- Digitalconsumer.org fundamentally opposes Senator Hollings' Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Act and believes that such legislation would be detrimental to consumer rights and technology innovation. The organization believes that consumers need a broad, positive assertion of their personal use rights, not new laws that narrowly restrict personal use to a few specific exemptions. Without a positive assertion of consumers' personal use rights, this bill will place even more control in the hands of media companies. In addition, the proposed bill will inevitably prevent innovation because it is one of the most sweeping regulations of the information technology sector in its history. Innovation can rarely be predicted and the very definition implies creating things that previously could not be foreseen. By attempting to anticipate all possible legal uses of content and make all other uses illegal, the bill will inevitably restrict the capabilities of future media devices. Lastly, this bill will harm consumers and entrepreneurs without achieving its desired affect of preventing piracy. Dedicated pirates will find ways around any copy-protection scheme, resulting in consumers suffering while piracy continues unabated.
"Had this law been in place twenty-five years ago, it is possible that the world would never know the VCR, the Walkman or the MP3 player. This is a proposal that truly works against the consumer and it remains our greatest priority to ensure a consumers' personal use rights are asserted and safeguarded", said Joe Kraus, co-founder, Digitalconsumer.org.
Digitalconsumer.org is a consumer-advocacy group started in 2001 with a mission is to restore the balance of copyright law so that artists and creators can prosper while citizens have reasonable flexibility to use content in fair and legal ways. The group is composed of entrepreneurs, investors and consumers, and it is proposing a set of principles - a Consumer Technology Bill of Rights - that it intends to have passed into law. These principles would preserve consumers' historic fair-use rights that have been recently diminished by changes in copyright law made at the request of media companies. To learn more about the Consumer Technology Bill of Rights, please visit: www.digitalconsumer.org.