"Don't let Hollywood make the rules"

By Jon Newton 1/27/03

"If allowed to make the rules, the entertainment industry will treat us all like criminals in their attempt to crack down on piracy" new survey.

And instead of worrying about online piracy, the US Congress' top priority should be protecting consumers fair use right to access, copy and enjoy content they acquire legally, said 60% of people who responded.

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"More than 53 percent fear that Congressional mandates intended to limit piracy would only end up making an already complicated problem worse," said Scott Sutherland of marketing communications firm SutherlandGold, which conducted the survey.

Entertainment companies that argue the technology industry should do more to crack down on piracy get little support from consumers, said Sutherland, continuing that 54% also believe Congressional mandates might have the unintended consequence of stifling technological innovation and restricting law-abiding consumers access to entertainment content on the Internet.

"Much has been made of Hollywood's powerful lobbying voice in the Digital Rights Management debate," said Sutherland. "This survey shows that the technology community could greatly benefit from waking the real sleeping giant in this debate: consumers," said Lesley Gold.

The study also revealed that, "despite a host of legislation pending in Congress to address online copyright issues", only 18% of respondess believed it was important that Congress make addressing the issue of online piracy a priority this year.

A sizable majority also thought allowing Hollywood to dictate the terms of new laws intended to protect copyright would have highly negative consequences and more than 53% of consumers agreed with the statement, "that if allowed to make the rules, the entertainment industry will treat us all like criminals in their attempt to crack down on piracy. Congress has to make sure that new laws protect our rights to use, copy and share content we acquire legally while at the same time cracking down on piracy".

"Constituents appear to be saying that Members of Congress don't have their priorities straight," said the report. "Clearly, consumers feel protecting their right to access content is a far greater priority than protecting the interests of copyright holders."

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Jon Newton is the editor of p2pnet.net and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.

Other MP3 Stories:
The MP3 Losers of 2002
The MP3 Winners of 2002

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