Computer Industry Group Fighting For Fair Use Rights

Sep 3rd, 2007 | By | Category: Digital Music, Podcasting Law

The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), an international, nonprofit association of computer, information, and communications technology firms, is asking consumers to complain to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection about statements and warnings attached to CDs, DVDs, and broadcast programming that forbid copying and sharing.

According to the CCIA:

“These warnings intimidate average people and hinder free expression. They depict as illegal many legitimate and beneficial uses made possible by the high-tech industry, and cast a pall over the high-tech marketplace represented by the Computer & Communications Industry Association. Moreover, these misleading warnings represent an assault on the open communications and free expression vital to our society.”

Many media companies have pursued a zero-tolerance policy towards the reproduction of digital media, disregarding¬†the history of fair use. This has led to cease & desist warnings that effectively have limited independent media producers’ ability to excerpt content from news shows, movies, sporting events and other media for the sake of commentary or discussion.

In August, CCIA filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission stating that such practices constitutes unfair and deceptive trade practices as defined by the Federal Trade Commission Act.  Specifically named in the complaint are the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball, NBC-Universal, Morgan Creek Productions, Dreamworks, Harcourt, and Penguin. CCIA demands an immediate end to these deceptive practices.  In the complaint, CCIA asks the FTC to investigate the circumstances surrounding the copyright holders systemic misrepresentations of consumer rights and order appropriate relief.

via DefendFairUse

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