ARCHIVED: H.R. 2281, the WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaty Implementation Act of 1997

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August 4, 1997

The Honorable Howard Coble
Chairman
Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property
B351A Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. Chairman:

We have read with concern your July 29 statement accompanying introduction of H.R. 2281, the WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaty Implementation Act of 1997. Of particular note is the sentence at the bottom of the second page which reads: " This bill presents a reasonable compromise which achieves these goals and reflects agreement among the traditional content and software communities as well as many of the leading American members of the consumer electronic and computer industries and user interests."

The undersigned represent many of the leading American members of the consumer electronic and computer industries and user interests. We regret to inform you that you have been misinformed regarding our views on H.R. 2281, which we strongly oppose in its present form because it is contrary to our long-held and oft-stated positions.

As is evident from the attached correspondence, we have made our positions clear in recent written and oral comments on this subject to the Patent and Trademark Office, to the Department of Commerce, to the White House, and in congressional testimony last year. For the record, we reiterate that we remain willing to pursue a compromise with the "traditional content and software communities" but, in fact, such agreement has neither been reached nor is reflected in H.R. 2281.

We appreciate the opportunity to clarify our positions and look forward to working with you on the complex issues involved in updating the Copyright Act for the digital era.

Sincerely

Adam Eisgrau
for the Digital Future Coalition

Peter M.C. Choy
Chair
American Committee for Interoperable Systems

Gary Shapiro
President
Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association

Ruth Rodgers
Executive Director
Home Recording Rights Coalition

Edward Black
President and CEO
Computer and Communications Industry Association

Barbara Simons
Chair
Association for Computing Machinery
U.S. Public Policy Committee

ATTACHMENTS:

American Library Association Letter to Andrew Pincus, General Counsel, Department of Commerce - 6/5/97 [ not available online 6/99 ]

DFC Testimony before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary - 5/7/96.