ARCHIVED: The House WIPO implementation bill, H.R. 2281

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H.R. 2281, the House WIPO implementation bill recently reported out of the Judiciary Committee (H. Rept.. 105-551), was referred to the House Commerce Committee chaired by Rep. Thomas Bliley (R-7th-VA). This gives us a short window of opportunity to try to make important changes to this anti-technology, anti-consumer, anti-library legislation.

On Friday, I was pleased to be able to testify before the Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade and Consumer Affairs on behalf of AALL and the other major library associations. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-9th-VA) who introduced H.R. 3048--the bill that the library community and the Digital Future Coalition have long supported--is a member of that Subcommittee.

LIBRARY TESTIMONY:

Our testimony stressed the pro-library provisions of H.R. 3048 that would extend fair use, first sale and distance learning into the digital age. It expressed our opposition to H.R. 2281 for failing to address these important issues. It affirmed the need to amend H.R. 2281 to strike the proper balance in copyright law to protect owners from "unfettered duplication" while permitting fair use and other exceptions so that library patrons will have no-fee access to materials lawfully acquired by a library. The testimony included proposed language "fixes" to amend H.R. 2281 to allow the fair use doctrine to thrive in the digital world.

With twelve panelist representing both sides of the issues, this was a lively and fairly comprehensive debate between the content community and advocates for libraries and educational institutions, software and technology manufacturing companies, and privacy groups. The most contentious area of disagreement was over provisions of H.R. 2281 (Sec. 1201) that would make it illegal to "circumvent" a technical protection device that protects copyrighted material EVEN FOR fair use purposes. The content community strongly favors this new regime that would make all "circumvention" illegal, leading to the end of fair use in the digital world and a "pay-per-view" future.

Friday's testimony and my oral statement are on the Washington Affairs Office Web site at: http://www.aallnet.org/aallwash/testimony.asp

In addition, AALL's letter opposing H.R. 2281, sent on May 29th to all members of the House Commerce Committee, the House Rules Committee and the House leadership, is at: http://www.aallnet.org/aallwash/lt052998.asp

ACTION NEEDED NOW:

IF YOUR REPRESENTATIVE IS LISTED BELOW AS A MEMBER OF THE COMMERCE COMMITTEE, please contact them as soon as possible and urge them to support Rep. Boucher's amendments to H.R. 2281 so that our concerns with this bill--fair use, first sale, distance education--are reflected in the legislation. The bill will be marked-up by the Subcommittee on June 17th, so action is needed NOW.

IF YOUR REPRESENTATIVE IS NOT A MEMBER OF THE COMMERCE COMMITTEE AND DOES NOT APPEAR ON THE SECOND LIST OF CURRENT CO-SPONSORS OF THE BOUCHER BILL, PLEASE CONTACT THEM ASAP AND URGE THEM TO CO-SPONSOR H.R. 3048. That will give us additional leverage when H.R. 2281 goes to the House floor. If your representative is already a co-sponsor, send them a short e-mail note of thanks, letting them know how important H.R. 3048 is for libraries and consumers.

It's also very helpful for us to know about your lobbying efforts since we are working with members of Congress here in Washington. If possible, when you send a letter to your representative, please fax us a copy at 202/662-9202. If you send an e-mail, please cc' Mary Alice Baish (baish@law.georgetown.edu).

Time is running out. If the WIPO implementation bills pass Congress in their current form, without safeguarding these important provisions, we are heading down the road to a pay-per-view world that will harm American consumers and the library community.

Thanks to ALL of who have responded to our previous alerts, met with members and staff at district offices, and helped us get additional co-sponsors for H.R. 3048. This hearing was very positive in focusing on our issues, but TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE AND YOUR CONTINUED GRASSROOTS HELP IS URGENTLY NEEDED!

Thank you,
Robert L. Oakley
Washington Affairs Representative


#1. House Commerce Committee/Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade and Consumer Protection Members (Those with an * are already co-sponsors of H.R. 3048.)

ST-DST PTY REPRESENTATIVE
CA-14 D Anna G. Eshoo (Subcommittee)
CA-27 R James E. Rogan (Subcommittee)
CA-29 D Henry A. Waxman
CA-47 R Christopher Cox (Subcommittee)
CA-49 R * Brian P. Bilbray
CO-1 D Diana DeGette
CO-6 R * Dan Schaefer (Subcommittee)
FL-6 R Cliff Stearns (Subcommittee)
FL-9 R Michael Bilirakis
FL-20 D Peter Deutsch
GA-9 R Nathan Deal (Subcommittee)
GA-10 R * Charlie Norwood
IA-4 R Greg Ganske
ID-2 R Michael D. Crapo
IL-1 D Bobby L. Rush (Subcommittee)
IL-14 R J. Dennis Hastert (Subcommittee)
IL-20 R John Shimkus (Subcommittee)
KY-1 R Ed Whitfield
LA-3 R W. J. (Billy) Tauzin (Chairman, Subcommittee)
MA-7 D Edward J. Markey (Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee)
MD-4 D Albert Russell Wynn (Subcommittee)
MI-1 D Bart Stupak
MI-6 R Fred Upton (Subcommittee)
MI-16 D John D. Dingell (Ranking Minority Member, Commerce Committee )
MO-5 D Karen McCarthy (Subcommittee)
NC-5 R Richard Burr
NJ-6 D * Frank Pallone, Jr.
NY-2 R Rick Lazio
NY-7 D Thomas J. Manton (Subcommittee)
NY-10 D * Edolphus Towns
NY-17 D Eliot L. Engel (Subcommittee)
NY-27 R Bill Paxon
OH-4 R Michael G. Oxley (Vice Chairman, Subcommittee)
OH-5 R Paul E. Gillmor (Subcommittee)
OH-6 D Ted Strickland
OH-13 D * Sherrod Brown
OH-14 D Thomas C. Sawyer (Subcommittee)
OK-1 R Steve Largent (Subcommittee)
OK-2 R Tom A. Coburn
OR-1 D * Elizabeth Furse
PA-4 D Ron Klink (Subcommittee)
PA-8 R James C. Greenwood
TN-6 D Bart Gordon (Subcommittee)
TX-4 D * Ralph M. Hall
TX-6 R Joe Barton (Subcommittee)
TX-29 D Gene Green (Subcommittee)
VA-7 R Tom Bliley (Chairman, Commerce Committee)
VA-9 D * Rick Boucher (Subcommittee)
WA-1 R Rick White (Subcommittee)
WI-2 R * Scott L. Klug (Subcommittee)
WY-ALL R Barbara Cubin


#2. Current co-sponsors of H.R. 3048

ST-DST PTY REPRESENTATIVE
CA-6 D Lynn C. Woolsey
CA-12 D Tom Lantos
CA-15 R Tom Campbell
CA-31 D Matthew G. Martinez
CA-34 D Esteban Torres
CA-45 R Dana Rohrabacher
CA-46 D Loretta Sanchez
CA-49 R Brian P. Bilbray
CO-2 D David E. Skaggs
CO-4 R Dan Schaefer
CT-4 R Christopher Shays
CT-5 D James H. Maloney
DE-1 R Michael N. Castle
FL-3 D Corrine Brown
FL-5 D Karen Thurman
GA-10 R Charles W. Norwood
IL-5 D Rod R. Blagojevich
IL-17 D Lane Evans
MD-8 R Constance A. Morella
MA-2 D Richard E. Neal
MI-9 D Dale E. Kildee
MN-3 R Jim Ramstad
MN-7 D Collin C. Peterson
MS-1 R Roger F. Wicker
MO-7 R Roy Blunt
NJ-6 D Frank Pallone
NY-10 D Edolphus Towns
NY-11 D Major R. Owens
NY-25 R James T. Walsh
NC-2 D Bob Etheridge
OH-10 D Dennis J. Kucinich
OH-13 D Sherrod Brown
OH-19 R Steve C. LaTourette
OR-1 D Elizabeth Furse
OR-3 D Earl Blumenauer
OR-4 D Peter A. DeFazio
PA-14 D William J. Coyne
PA-15 D Paul McHale
SC-5 D John M. Spratt
SC-6 D James E. Clyburn
TN-2 R John J. Duncan
TX-1 D Max Sandlin
TX-4 D Ralph M. Hall
VA-2 D Owen B. Pickett
VA-9 D Rick Boucher
WA-7 D Jim McDermott
WI-2 R Scott L. Klug
WV-3 D Nick J. Rahall