New law to liberalize digital music copying

A US Congress subcommittee met this week to debate a consumer rights cat that affects digital music. The consumer rights act aims to liberalize what users can do with digital music, but entertainment-industry representatives warn that the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act of 2003, introduced last year, will open the floodgates to piracy.

However, technology experts and educators argue that passing the act would restore rights to consumers and promote innovation. The Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection Subcommittee of the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce listened to the arguments but took no action after the Wednesday hearing. The subcommittee is expected to act on the measure this session, however.

Preservation of knowledge

Holding up his Apple iPod, Representative John Doolittle (R-California) said: "This is an interesting device. It can download entire CD collections, entire books for now. It may be that people would be prevented from taking advantage of this convenient technology." Miriam Nisbet, representing the Council for the American Library Association, argued that one price of current laws forbidding duplication is a high cost to libraries, where the main goal is education through a free flow of information.

News source: Macworld UK

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