Musings on FECA's Passing
In the US the House Judiciary Committee's copyright subcommittee today unanimously approved the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act (FECA). On 3 February the Senate did the same, and the bill is now up for a vote in the House, probably before the US Supreme Court's decision in the Grokster case, somewhere in June. The FECA is a bit of a hybrid and
- gives the right to use devices like ClearPlay that filter movies on make them "family friendly"
- increase the penalty for people that (pre)distribute movies/music before their official release
- the prohibition to bring an audiovisual recording device into a movie theater to make a copy
"Parents should be able to mute or skip over anything they want if they feel it's in the best interests of their children," said [Rep. Lamar] Smith. "Just as the author of a book should not be able to force someone to read that book in any particular manner or order, a studio or director should not be able to force parents or their children to watch a movie in a particular way."Then, should someone be forced to watch an anti-piracy message on a purchased DVD without an option to skip it? Should someone be forced to listen to music and view movies in a preset manner, being prevented from taking them to pieces and remix them to their will? Should a studio be able to force parents and non-parents alike from extracting music and movie excerpts, not for not seeing and hearing them, but to integrate them in personal and scholarly works? Different questions, which' answers walk a different legal line. But should they?
- - -Wired on the "original" FECA