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EFFector - Volume 11, Issue 14 - * ALERT: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is Going to Conference!

                                      
             EFFector       Vol. 11, No. 14       Sep. 29, 1998
                               editor@eff.org
   A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424
                                      
  IN THE 142nd ISSUE OF EFFECTOR:
  
     * ALERT: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is going to conference -
       speak now or forever hold your peace! (Oct. 2 deadline!)
          + INTRODUCTION
          + IMMEDIATE ACTION TO TAKE
          + ABOUT DFC
     * Administrivia
       
   See http://www.eff.org for more information on EFF activities &
   alerts!
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   
   
   September 28, 1998                                       EFF/DFC ALERT
   
       The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is going to conference
                                       
                  Speak now or forever hold your peace!

   Tentative Deadline: Oct. 2 (Please do not redistribute after Oct. 10.)
   
   
  INTRODUCTION
  
   On September 24, 1998, Congress held the first of several meetings, to
   reconcile the House and Senate versions of the "Digital Millennium
   Copyright Act" (DMCA). These meetings could be completed by the end of
   this week!
   
   The DMCA makes significant changes to American copyright law in the
   name of implementing recent World Intellectual Property Organization
   (WIPO) copyright treaties. Unfortunately, some of the proposed changes
   could upset the uniquely American balance between the users and
   creators of copyrighted works. The Senate bill lacks adequate
   protections for fair use, encryption research, and personal privacy.
   It could also limit the availability of future consumer electronics
   and computer products. On the other hand, the House version contains
   many extraneous provisions that have little or nothing to do with
   implementing the important WIPO treaties. These provisions in the
   House bill would overturn three consumer-oriented Supreme Court
   decisions. The Justice department has concluded that one of these
   provisions, Title V, which creates sweeping new anti-fair-use rights
   in databases and other collections of information, may well be
   unconstitutional. (This Title V was previously a separate bill, the
   "Collections of Information Antipiracy Act.") Now is the time to speak
   up because these meetings will determine the final form of this
   legislation as it goes to the President's desk to be signed into law.
   
   If you care about the future of the Internet, you should let your
   Senators and Representatives know, as soon as possible, how important
   it is to preserve the essential provisions of the House DMCA, which
   protects fair use, personal privacy, the availability of consumer
   products and encryption research - while rejecting its harmful
   extraneous provisions. A letter to the Senate detailing public
   interest concerns with both pieces of legislation is available at the
   Digital Future Coalition web site:
   http://www.dfc.org
                    ___________________________________
   
   
   
  IMMEDIATE ACTION TO TAKE
  
    First Step:
    
   All privacy, encryption, fair use, and security supporters, especially
   supporters from states represented on the Conference Committee, are
   asked to IMMEDIATELY fax, call or e-mail your Senators and
   Representatives now and ask them to contact the members of the
   "Digital Millennium Copyright Act" Conference Committee and urge them
   to keep the protections for information consumers embodied in the core
   of the House version of the DMCA and to remove provisions such as
   Title V, the "Collections of Information Antipiracy Act", which have
   no relation to WIPO implementation. A sample letter and more
   information is available at the Digital Future Coalition web site:
   http://www.dfc.org
   
   To reach your legislator you may call the US Capitol Switchboard at
   202-224-3121 locally or toll-free 1-800-962-3524 nationally. If you
   are unsure who your legislators are or want more info on how to
   contact them, see the EFF Congress Contact Factsheet at:
   http://www.eff.org/congress.html
   
    Second Step:
    
   Next contact the key Conference Committee legislators below and urge
   them to:
    1. replace the Senate's "Digital Millenium Copyright Act" provisions
       with the better provisions of the House version; and
    2. remove Title V, the "Collections of Information Antipiracy Act".
       
   The following Representatives and Senators are on the "Digital
   Millennium Copyright Act" Conference Committee:
   
 ================================================================
 Party        Senator                 Phone           Fax
   State
 ----------------------------------------------------------------
  R UT     Hatch, Orrin G.        1-202-224-5251  1-202-224-6331
  D VT     Leahy, Patrick J.      1-202-224-4242  1-202-224-3595
  R SC     Thurmond, Strom        1-202-224-5972  1-202-224-1300
 ================================================================
 Pty  Dist   Representative          Phone           Fax
   State
 ----------------------------------------------------------------
  R IL 06  Hyde, Henry            1-202-225-4561  1-202-225-1166
  R NC 06  Coble, Howard          1-202-225-3065  1-202-225-8611
  R VA 06  Goodlatte, Bob         1-202-225-5431  1-202-225-9681
  D CA 26  Berman, Howard         1-202-225-4695  1-202-225-5279
  D MI 14  Conyers, John          1-202-225-5126  1-202-225-0072
  D MI 16  John D. Dingell        1-202-225-4071  1-202-226-0371
  R VA 07  Tom Bliley             1-202-225-2815  1-202-225-0011
  R LA 03  W.J. "Billy" Tauzin    1-202-225-4031  1-202-225-0563
 ================================================================

   IF YOU ARE A CONSTITUENT (i.e., you live in the same district as the
   Rep. you are contacting) make sure to say so. For example "I am a
   constituent, and I'm calling/writing because...."
   
   IF YOU REPRESENT A COMPANY OR ORGANIZATION, say so: "I'm Jane Person
   from Personal Technologies Inc. of Austin. I'm calling on behalf of
   Personal Technologies to ask the Representative to...." Business
   interests carry a lot of weight with many legislators, especially if
   they are in the legislator's home district. Legislators also generally
   heed organizational voices over individual ones.
                    ___________________________________
   
   
   
  ABOUT DFC
  
   The Digital Future Coalition (DFC), of which EFF is a member, is 42
   non-profit and for-profit entities that are committed to fighting for
   balanced intellectual property law (copyright) in the digital era.
   
   This alert is based on a DFC alert.
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
                                 Administrivia
                                       
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