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Where the heck is paul revere wihen ya need em - Pirates Harbor

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Previous Entry Where the heck is paul revere wihen ya need em Sep. 14th, 2004 @ 02:39 pm Next Entry

Anyone who has ever used an iPod, taped TV shows, or made a mixtape for
their friend needs to read this! Hollywood is pushing Congress to pass a
bill that could make the VCR, CD-Rs, and iPods illegal.


In late 70s, Hollywood tried to make the VCR illegal. Now they're at it
again. Back then, Hollywood's lawyers argued that because *some* people
might use a VCR to make illegal copies, they had a right to sue *any*
business that sold VCRs.

Fortunately for the future of technology, the Supreme Court said that
any new technology with "substantial non-infringing uses" was legal and
should be allowed to flourish. That wisdom, known as the "Betamax
decision" (after VHS's short-lived predecessor) was great news for the
economy: dozens of markets sprung up that would otherwise have been
smothered by the fear of litigation and liability. And it was good news
for Hollywood too: soon they were making billions in the same video
rental market they tried to litigate out of existence.

But now Hollywood (and the major record labels) are trying to undo
"Betamax" with a new law that would let them sue any business that gave
their customers freedom to make legal copies. The music and movie
companies claim they only want to ban p2p filesharing software like
Kazaa. But legal experts say that dozens of products--even Apple's
hugely popular "iPod"--would soon find themselves under the gun. We need
to stop this from happening, and the time to act is now.


This legislation is called the INDUCE Act, and it's opposed by the
mainstream technology industry (eBay, Google, Intel, Verizon, and Yahoo
have all lobbied against it) along with public interest advocates like
Public Knowledge and even librarian groups. These companies and
organizations are all making their voices heard in Washington, but now
it's time that members of Congress hear from the public (you!).

We're organizing a national call-in day. The plan is: Senators who are
siding with Hollywood against the public interest will receive a steady
stream of phonecalls for as long as it takes. Think of it like a
consumers' rights march on Washington that you can do from your home or
your desk at work. Hollywood and the record companies have millions of
lobbying dollars, but all we have are our numbers. If you think keeping
the VCR legal was a good idea, we need you to act now:


And finally, if for some reason you can't participate yourself, please
forward this email to friends or coworkers who can.

Thanks for your time, and we hope you'll join this historic and
extremely important event.

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Date:September 14th, 2004 05:25 pm (UTC)
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