Bush Signs Hollywood Act

By Jon Newton 4/28/05

US president George W. Bush has signed Hollywood’s Family Entertainment and Copyright Act which, says the Washington Post, “creates an exemption in copyright laws to make sure companies selling filtering technology won't get sued out of existence”.

Spearheaded by Hollywood favourite senator Orrin Hatch, the act also in effect gives the entertainment industry cartels the power to have people jailed for up to three years.

The reference to filtering centres on ClearPlay which, “sells filters for hundreds of movies that can be added to such DVD players for $4.95 each month” but the studios says ClearPlay should pay them licensing fees “for altering their creative efforts,” says the Post, adding:

Jon Newton

“In a nod to the studios, the legislation contains crackdowns on copyright infringement by explicitly providing no legal protections for those companies that sell copies of the edited movies, creating new penalties for criminals who use small videocameras to record copies of first-run films in movie theaters, and setting tough penalties for anyone caught distributing a movie or song prior to its commercial release.”

The EFF’s (Electronic Frontier Foundation) Fred von Lohmann believes, “while it's decidedly a mixed bag,” it should be, “marked as more victory than a defeat for the public interest side in the copyfight”.

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.


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