November 15, 2005 | By Danny O'Brien

Fair Use Goes to Washington

This Wednesday, at 10AM EST, the href="http://energycommerce.house.gov/108/subcommittees/Commerce_Trade_and_Consumer_Protection.htm">House
Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection will hear from witnesses discussing href="http://energycommerce.house.gov/108/Hearings/11162005hearing1716/hearing.htm">"Fair
Use: Its Effect on Consumers and Industry."

It should make for a fine contrast to the arguments made so forcefully by
the MPAA and RIAA earlier this month, when they proposed that Congress should
adopt their triple
horror bill
of the broadcast flag, digital radio controls, and their
massively intrusive fix for that non-problem, the "analog hole."

If the entertainment industry's plan that session was to present their
proposals as uncontroversial fixes, they didn't succeed. As the concluding
speech by the Chairman Lamar Smith gently understated, their suggestions
provoked "more difference of opinion on the part of members [of the committee]
than usual."

So now the other side now gets their turn. href="http://energycommerce.house.gov/108/Hearings/11162005hearing1716/hearing.htm"">Tune
in tomorrow to hear the href="http://www.librarycopyrightalliance.org/">Library Copyright
Alliance, NetCoalition (whose
members include Yahoo! and Google), and the href="http://www.ce.org/">Consumer Electronics Association--plus the
return of Public Knowledge's
Gigi Sohn, who in the earlier hearing made such a href="http://www.publicknowledge.org/news/testimony/20051103-gbsohn-oral-testimony">strong
defense of consumer rights and fair use in the face of the entertainment
industry's attacks.


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