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Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation

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Citation Edit

Robin Jeweler, Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation (CRS Report RL32035) (Aug. 2, 2004) (full-text).

Overview Edit

Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technology that copyright owners use to protect digital media. This report surveys several of the DRM bills that were introduced in the 107th Congress and those that are pending in the 108th Congress. Generally, the bills are directed at two separate goals. One goal is to increase access to digitally-protected media for lawful purposes. The other attempts to thwart digital piracy and would do so by enhancing civil and criminal sanctions for digital (and traditional) copyright infringement and educating the public about the rights of copyright holders.

Although no bills were enacted during the 107th Congress, two of the bills focusing on access have been reintroduced in the 108th Congress. Representatives Boucher and Lofgren reintroduced their bills from the 107th Congress. They are H.R. 107, the 'Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act of 2003' and H.R. 1066, respectively. Bills addressing piracy include H.R. 4077, the 'Piracy Deterrence and Education Act of 2004'; S. 1932, the 'Artists Rights and Theft Prevention Act of 2004'; and, S. 2237, the 'Protecting Intellectual Rights Against Theft and Expropriation Act of 2004.' S. 1932 and S. 2237 have been passed by the Senate. Because digital transmission poses the greatest distribution risk to entertainment content owners, these bills attempt to thwart the initial unauthorized copying and/or uploading to the Internet.

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