[rumori] Rep. Boucher nastygram to RIAA,IFPI re: copy-protected CDs

From: Ken (kenzoATfree-music.com)
Date: Mon Jan 07 2002 - 10:55:15 PST

Forwarded From: "Richard M. Smith" <rmsATcomputerbytesman.com>
Subject: Letter to RIAA & IFPI heads from Congressman Rick Boucher - Jan. 4, 2002


January 4, 2002

Ms. Hilary B. Rosen
President and Chief Executive Officer
Recording Industry Association of America
1330 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20036

Mr. Jay Berman
Chairman and Chief Executive
54 Regent Street
London W1B 5RE
United Kingdom

Dear Hilary and Jay:

According to many published reports, record labels have begun releasing
compact discs into the market which apparently have been designed to
limit the ability of consumers to play the discs or record on personal
computers and perhaps on other popular consumer products, such as DVD
players, video game consoles, and even some CD players, for traditional
fair-use purposes such as space shifting. I am particularly concerned
that some of these technologies may prevent or inhibit consumer home
recording using recorders and media covered by the Audio Home Recording
Act of 1992 (AHRA).

As you know from your personal involvement in its drafting, the AHRA
clearly requires content owners to code their material appropriately to
implement a basic compromise: in return for the receipt of royalties on
compliant recorders and media, copyright owners may not preclude
consumers from making a first-generation, digital-to-digital copy of an
album on a compliant device using royalty-paid media. Under the AHRA,
any deliberate change to a CD by a content owner that makes one
generation of digital recording from the CD on covered devices no longer
possible would appear to violate the content owner's obligations under
the statute.

To understand better the implications of this new technology for
consumers, I would appreciate your providing answers to the following

1. What methods have been used or are planned for use by your member
companies to alter CD content or ancillary encoding so as to constrain
functions of personal computers or other devices? Do these methods
involve the injection of intentional errors? Do these methods involve
compressed audio files separate from the CD-quality tracks?

2. Based upon your knowledge and upon any consumer contact received by
your member companies, have any discs entered the U.S. market that may
not be copied on a device or on media for which a royalty has been paid
under the AHRA?

3. What steps, if any, have your member companies taken to inform
consumers, retailers, or device manufacturers about the restrictions and
which of their discs have been or will be altered?

4. What steps, if any, have been taken by your member companies to
assure that the introduction of intentional errors as to encoded music,
or other technical means to block copying, will not detract from sound
quality or cause responses in equipment that could damage speakers?

5. Would you and your member companies support independent testing of
the effect on sound quality, on listening behavior, and on the
performance and operation of home networks, before these technologies
appear more widely in the U.S. market? Assuming you and your member
companies support such testing, are you prepared to provide assurances
that no assertion would be made that these tests and any peer review of
the tests would violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?

Given the recent announcements from some record companies that they
intend the broad introduction in 2002 of copy protected discs, I would
appreciate a prompt response to this inquiry.

Thanking you for your time and attention to this matter, I remain


Rick Boucher
Member of Congress

- Ken
ken's last ever radio extravaganza http://free-music.com/ken/extrav/

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