Congress has RIAA jizz all over its face

The RIAA wants you to license incidental copies of songs in your browser’s cache and RAM.

This is dangerous language that creates a dangerous precedent. When courts look at how copyright should apply to new digital technologies, they often have few judicial precedents for guidance and thus they turn to the Copyright Act itself for clues about how Congress views similar issues. Incidental copies made in the course of otherwise lawful activities should be treated either as outside the scope of a copyright holder’s rights or as a fair use (even the Copyright Office agrees on the fair use point). But you can be sure that the copyright industries will use SIRA as a precedent to the contrary in future fights.

And that’s not the only dangerous, subtle change that SIRA would effect. By treating digital transmissions as “distributions” under the Copyright Act, SIRA would bolster arguments that the record industry is making in its case against XM Radio. What’s more, the act creates a second, royalty-free compulsory license that applies to incidental copies for noninteractive streaming, subject to an important condition: the music service may not take “affirmative steps to authorize, enable, cause, or induce the making of reproductions of music works by or for end-users.” Like the PERFORM Act, this would erode lawful home recording.

What the hell is wrong with the people? And I mean all of them, Congress and the RIAA alike. How much more anti-technology can you get? And to what end?

IPac has more information and a list of congresscritters to call about the issue.

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