Local House of Representitives member Zoe Lofgren has authored The Balance Act
, which is designed to give consumers back several of their digital rights which were taken away by the Digital Milennium Copyright Act.
Specifically, the Balance Act:
- Clarifies that America’s historic principles of fair use – protected under Section 107 of the Copyright Act – apply to analog and digital transmissions.
- Allows purchasers to make backup copies and display digital works on the devices of their choice.
- Protects purchasers by prohibiting non-negotiable shrink-wrap licenses that limit their rights and expectations.
- Clarifies that purchasers can sell or give away their copies of digital works, just like they can with traditional hard media.
</li>Protects purchasers by permitting them to bypass technical measures that impede their rights and expectations.</li>
- Provides flexibility for content owners to develop new and innovative ways to protect their content and enable lawful uses.
It's being recommended by all sorts of good organizations and people, including many of the same ones that supported the constitutional challenge to the DMCA. It would clarify the law and stop treating consumers like criminals.
What this bill really needs, however, is your support. Please contact your representative and let them know you support H.R. 1066, the Balance Act, and that you would like to encourage them to put their full support behind the bill.
The Balance Act may be the best shot we have to create a future where consumers continue to have control over the media, software, and hardware that they use. It will protect us from big businesses who want to control our access to music, films, television, and software so badly that they would take away our rights and hobble the products we all use in order to do it.
These companies have a ton of money and will do their best to kill this bill. All we have are our voices and our votes. Raise your voice, spread the word, and make it clear to your politicians that if they want your vote in the future, they should protect your rights by supporting the Balance Act.