Release for the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Imminent Congressional Action on Flawed Copyright Package Threatens Future of Consumer Electronics, Education and the Internet
Washington, D.C., June 11, 2020
Member organizations of the Digital Future Coalition (DFC) today reiterated their call to delay action on the "NII Copyright Protection Act" (H.R. 2441) until a number of contentious issues are settled. With the House Courts and Intellectual Property Subcommittee scheduled to act this week, representatives of ten DFC organizations -- the Consumer Federation of America, National Education Association, American Committee for Interoperable Systems, Computer and Communications Industry Association, Home Recording Rights Coalition, the American Association of Law Libraries, the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, the Medical Library Association, and the Special libraries Association -- expressed their deep opposition to movement of the Bill in its current form.
"Given the breadth and diversity of concerned parties, the Digital Future Coalition believes it is quite clear that this piece of legislation is not yet ready for prime time, " said Christine Owens on behalf of the American Committee for Interoperable Systems.
"The digital future of education, research, and industry is too important to push incomplete legislation through the Subcommittee," said Adam Eisgrau, Legislative Counsel for the American Library Association. "Taking the proper time needed to create a Bill which is advantageous to all Americans should be the priority, and not protecting entrenched interests at the expense of education and entrepreneurship."
If passed in its current form, H.R. 2441 would make simply browsing the Internet a violation of the law; subject Internet access providers to potentially crippling liability for the copyright violations of their users; make it a crime to manufacture the next generations of VCRs and personal computers, and critically damage "distance learning" efforts.
The DFC has presented the Subcommittee with a package of proposals which would ensure that the nature and scope of the Fair Use Doctrine would be made clear in the legislation, and that there would not be over-broad restrictions on the manufacture of devices and systems needed to make fair use rights real.
The Digital Future Coalition has a membership from both the private and public sectors which together represent combined membership of more than 2.2 million individuals, corporations and organizations with direct interests in the continued growth and development of the National Information Infrastructure. The members of the DFC are committed to supporting proposals which promote innovation in the information and technology industries, personal privacy in electronic communication, public access to information resources, and appropriate protection for copyrighted content in the digital environment.