Congressmen Introduce Bill to Legalize

By Robert Menta

Call it a bipartisan action. Congressman Rich Boucher, a Democrat Representative from Virginia and three Republican Congressmen introduced legislation Monday that would make it legal build a database of sound recordings for the sole purpose of transmitting those recordings to individuals who had previously purchased music.


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This bill, if it should be passed into law, would greatly level the playing field between small music technology companies and the large old economy conglomerates who use the expensive court process as a tool to weaken future competition.

"Simply stated, a consumer who lawfully owns a work of music, such as a CD, will be able to store it on the Internet and then downstream it for personal use at a time and place of his choosing," Boucher said in introduction of the new legislation.

"After the consumer shows proof of ownership of the music, he will be able to listen to it streamed to him over the Internet from any place that he has Internet access. Consumers would not be able to transfer music to someone else or use the music for commercial purposes under the provisions of our legislation."

The most important aspect of this bill is that it specifically spells out that the consumer OWNS the music once they pay for it. The record industry has tried to narrow the interpretation of copyright law, hinting that consumers don't own the music, they are only renting it.

Boucher's bill removes the need for streaming services to purchase the rights to stream music because by definition those rights are already paid for with the purchase of the CD.

That will be a boon to tech companies like Scour who have had trouble finding VC money lately because of the present legal turmoil. That will help prevent future companies from going under like Atomic Pop did last week.

Copyright 2000 MP3 Newswire. All rights reserved.

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