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EFFector - Volume 11, Issue 3 - Action Alert: Contact Key Representatives On the HJC to Oppose Administration’s Digital Copyright Bill

EFFector Vol. 11 No. 3

EFFector       Vol. 11, No. 3       Mar. 29, 1998       editor@eff.org
A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424


IN THIS ISSUE:

IMMEDIATE ACTION ALERT, MARCH 31 DEADLINE:
 CONTACT KEY REPRESENTATIVES ON THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE TO OPPOSE 
 ADMINISTRATION'S DIGITAL COPYRIGHT BILL
    1. INTRO
    2. IMMEDIATE ACTION TO TAKE
    3. SAMPLE PHONE "SCRIPT" & SAMPLE FAX
    4. MORE ACTION TO TAKE       
ADMINISTRIVIA

 See http://www.eff.org for more information on EFF activities & alerts!

    _________________________________________________________________

   
The Electronic Frontier Foundation                    March  27, 1998
      
IMMEDIATE ACTION ALERT, MARCH 31 DEADLINE:
CONTACT KEY REPRESENTATIVES ON THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
TO OPPOSE ADMINISTRATION'S DIGITAL COPYRIGHT BILL
   
           Please distribute widely to appropriate forums,
                    no later than April 15, 1998.
      
   SUMMARY:
   
     * Latest News:
       House "WIPO Copyright Treaties Implementation Act" (H.R. 2281) 
       would overregulate emerging technologies, outlaw reverse
       engineering and encryption security measures, and roll back fair
       use privileges.

     * What You Can Do Now:
       Follow the directions below and call members of House Judiciary
       Committee. Ask them to oppose any bill that seeks to regulate 
       technology itself, rather than the behavior of misusing the
       technology. Explain that a better alternative is H.R. 3048.
       
    _________________________________________________________________
   
   
THE LATEST NEWS
  
On March 31, 1998, the House Judiciary Committee will mark up H.R. 2281,
the "WIPO Copyright Treaties Implementation Act."  Introduced by
Representative Henry Hyde (R-IL), H.R. 2281 would make the use,
manufacture or sale of any technology that can be used to circumvent
copyright protections illegal.  Rather than providing protection and legal
remedies against the act of unlawful circumvention itself, H.R. 2881
focuses instead on the technologies used to enable the circumvention. 

The Act, backed by the Clinton Administration and content industry
interests (including the Motion Picture Association of America and the
Business Software Alliance), has the stated purpose of enacting the World
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) copyright treaties passed in
Geneva in December of 1996.  However, the Act would actually go much
farther than the treaties require, disrupting the balance between owners,
creators and users of copyrighted information.  The anti-circumvention
provisions of H.R. 2281 would give content owners the unprecedented power
to bar consumers (including value-added innovators) from making copies of
material that is being distributed commercially to the public, effectively
gutting the fair use doctrine of copyright law. 

Furthermore, this bill would impede encryption research that helps ensure
secure networks, prevent legitimate reverse engineering in the development
of new software, and effectively overrule the Supreme Court's decision in
Sony Corp. v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417 (1984), which
permitted the home taping of television broadcasts. 

A much better WIPO implementation bill, which punishes the *act* of
unlawful infringement and maintains fair use protections, is H.R. 3048,
the "Digital Era Copyright Enhancement Act."  H.R. 3048 would encourage
the development of new technologies and markets for copyrighted works in
digital form, while giving intellectual property holders the strong tools
they need to go after infringing conduct. 

Virtually no one outside of the content community supports H.R. 2281. 
Unfortunately, Congress has been feeling a lot of pressure from the
Clinton Administration and intellectual property interests to pass this
legislation.  YOUR immediate action is needed to stop it from passing out
of the Judiciary Committee. 

    _________________________________________________________________

      
IMMEDIATE ACTION TO TAKE
   
Free speech (i.e. fair use and encryption) supporters, *especially
supporters from states represented on the House Judiciary Committee*, are
asked to IMMEDIATELY contact these key Representatives and ask them to
withhold support from the Administration's WIPO implementation bill, H.R.
2281, and instead support the more balanced approach of H.R. 3048, at the
House Judiciary Committee markup meeting this Tuesday, March 31, 1998. 
 
We ask you to take JUST TWO MINUTES or so per call to contact the offices
of the Committee members and express your opposition to this legislation! 
Urge the Representatives to refrain from burdening the development of new
technologies and ensure that fair use exemptions are protected in the
digital world. 
    
Feel free to make use of the sample fax and phone "script" below.
This is a full committee, with quite a few members. If you don't have the
resources to call or fax them all, please at minimum contact your own
Rep., if in this list, commitee chairman Henry Hyde, and ranking member
John Conyers.   

   
                  HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE


    ST    PTY   REPRESENTATIVE                PHONE          FAX
      DIST
    ---------------------------------------- (Use 202 area code)---
    IL 06  R    Hyde, Henry (chair)           225-4561       225-1166
    WI 09  R    Sensenbrenner, F.J.           225-5101       225-3190
    FL 08  R    McCollum, Bill                225-2176       225-0999
    PA 17  R    Gekas, George                 225-4315       225-8440
    NC 06  R    Coble, Howard                 225-3065       225-8611
    TX 21  R    Smith, Lamar                  225-4236       225-8628
    NM 01  R    Schiff, Steven                225-6316       225-4975
    CA 23  R    Gallegly, Elton               225-5811       225-1100
    FL 12  R    Canady, Charles               225-1252       225-2279
    SC 04  R    Inglis, Bob                   225-6030       226-1177
    VA 06  R    Goodlatte, Bob                225-5431       225-9681
    IN 05  R    Buyer, Stephen                225-5037         n/a
    TN 07  R    Bryant, Ed                    225-2811       225-2989
    OH 01  R    Chabot, Steve                 225-2216       225-3012
    GA 07  R    Barr, Bob                     225-2931       225-2944
    TN 01  R    Jenkins, William              225-6356       225-5714
    AR 03  R    Hutchinson, Asa               225-4301       225-5713
    IN 07  R    Pease, Edward                 225-5805   765-423-2808
    UT 03  R    Cannon, Chris                 225-7751       225-5679
    CA 27  R    Rogan, James                  225-4176       225-5828
    SC 03  R    Graham, Lindsey               225-5301       225-3216
    MI 14  D    Conyers, John                 225-5126       225-0072
    MA 04  D    Frank, Barney                 225-5931       225-0182
    NY 09  D    Schumer, Charles              225-6616       225-4183
    CA 26  D    Berman, Howard                225-4695       225-5279
    VA 09  D    Boucher, Rick                 225-3861       225-0442
    NY 08  D    Nadler, Jerrold               225-5635       225-6923
    VA 03  D    Scott, Robert                 225-8351       225-8354
    NC 12  D    Watt, Melvin                  225-1510       225-1512
    CA 16  D    Lofgren, Zoe                  225-3072       225-5336
    TX 18  D    Jackson-Lee, Sheila           225-3816       225-3317
    CA 35  D    Waters, Maxine                225-2201       225-7854
    MA 05  D    Meehan, Martin                225-3411       226-0771
    MA 10  D    Delahunt, William             225-3111       225-5658
    FL 19  D    Wexler, Robert                225-3001       225-5974
    NJ 09  D    Rothman, Steven               225-5061       225-5851
    _________________________________________________________________

   
  SAMPLE PHONE "SCRIPT" & SAMPLE FAX
   
If you would like to both call and send a fax, this extra action
would certainly help.
   
For best results, try to put this in your own (short!) words, and
be emotive without being hostile.
   
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.

   
   PHONE "SCRIPT"
   
     
     You: [ring ring]
     
     Legislative staffer: Hello, Representative Lastname's office.
     
     You: I'm calling to urge Representative Lastname to REJECT the
     WIPO Copyright Treaties Implementation Act, H.R. 2281.  This bill 
     would go much further than the WIPO treaties require and make 
     illegal the use or manufacture of any technology that can be, but 
     is not intended to be, used to circumvent copyright protections.
     Rather than burden emerging technologies, a far more balanced
     approach would be to punish the *act* of circumvention itself.  I
     urge Representative Lastname to REJECT H.R. 2281 and instead support
     H.R. 3048.  Thank you.

     Staffer: OK, thanks. [click]
     
   
It's that easy.
   
You can optionally ask to speak to the legislator's technology
& intellectual property staffer. You probably won't get to, but
the message may have more weight if you succeed. The staffer who
first answers the phone probably won't be the tech/i.p. staffer.
   

   SAMPLE FAX
   
Relevant Congressional fax numbers are in the contact list above.
Please, if you have the time, write your own 1-3 paragraph letter
in your own words, rather than send a copy of this sample letter.
(However, sending a copy of the sample letter is far better than
taking no action!)

     
     Dear Rep. Lastname:
     
     I am writing to ask you to oppose H.R. 2281, the WIPO Copyright
     Treaties Implementation Act.  The Act would impose a variety of
     civil and criminal penalties for the use, manufacture or sale of
     technologies, including multi-purpose computers, home electronic
     devices and software programs, that could be used to overcome
     technological safeguards on copyrighted works.  This bill would
     impede encryption research that helps ensure secure networks, prevent
     legitimate reverse engineering in the development of new software,
     and effectively overrule the Supreme Court's decision in Sony Corp.
     v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417 (1984), which
     permitted the home taping of television broadcasts.  It also could
     jeopardize education and research by allowing copyright owners to
     lock up public domain materials, and by frustrating the fair use
     rights of information consumers. 

     H.R. 2281 goes much farther than is necessary under the WIPO
     treaties.  Instead, a more balanced and rational bill is H.R. 3048,
     the Digital Era Copyright Enhancement Act, a measure providing
     protection and legal remedies against the *act* of circumvention
     itself when that circumvention is undertaken for an unlawful purpose.
     Please oppose H.R. 2281 and support H.R. 3048.  Thank you. 

     
     Sincerely,
     My Name Here
     My Address Here
     
   
(Address is especially important if you want your letter to be taken
as a letter from an actual constituent.)
   
For brief tips on writing letters to Congress, see:
http://www.vote-smart.org/contact/contact.html
The most important tip is to BE POLITE AND BRIEF. Swearing will NOT
help.
   
    _________________________________________________________________

   
MORE ACTION TO TAKE
   
After calling/faxing members of the House Judiciary Committee, please
contact your own Representatives and urge them to oppose H.R. 2281, the
WIPO Copyright Treaties Implementation Act.  Do this even after the March
31 deadline for the main action.  If you have time, please also contact
House leaders and ask them to oppose any such legislation. (See contact
list below.) 

You may also wish to follow up your calls and faxes with e-mail.

If you are unsure who your legislators are or how to contact them, see
the EFF Congress Contact Factsheet at:
http://www.eff.org/congress.html
   
For more information about the WIPO Copyright Treaties Implementation 
Act and why it should be opposed, see the Digital Future Coaltion web
page at:
http://www.dfc.org/

                          HOUSE LEADERSHIP


    ST    PTY   REPRESENTATIVE                PHONE          FAX
      DIST
    ---------------------------------------- (Use 202 area code)---
    GA  6   R  Gingrich, Newt                225-4501      225-4656
    TX  26  R  Armey, Richard                225-7772      226-8100
    MO  3   D  Gephardt, Richard             225-2671      225-7452
    TX  22  R  DeLay, Tom                    225-5951      225-5241
    MI  10  D  Bonior, David                 225-2106      226-1169
    OH  8   R  Boehner, John                 225-6205      225-0704
    CA  47  R  Cox, Christopher              225-5611      225-9177
    CA  3   D  Fazio, Vic                    225-5716      225-5141
    MD  5   D  Hoyer, Steny                  225-4131      225-4300
    _________________________________________________________________
    
    
House leaders are, respectively: Speaker, Majority Leader, Minority
Leader, Maj. Whip, Min. Whip, Republican Conference Chair, Rep. Policy
Committee Chair, Democratic Caucus Chair, Dem. Steering Cmte. Chair.

   
[end of alert]

_____________________________________________________________________


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