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CEA Applauds Pro-Consumer, Pro-Innovation Fair Use Act

H.R. 1201 Provides Renewed Protections for Consumers, Innovators, Educators and Libraries

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) today endorsed the Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship Act of 2007 (H.R. 1201). This legislation, introduced by Representatives Rick Boucher (D-VA) and John Doolittle (R-CA), would restore incentives to innovate and provide protection to consumers, educators and libraries. In response to the introduction of this legislation, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA, said:

“This bill will reinforce the historical fair use protections of constitutionally-mandated copyright law that are reflected in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). It ensures that consumers, libraries and educators will not be liable for otherwise legal conduct and it codifies the important principles of the Supreme Court’s Betamax decision. H.R. 1201 provides much needed fair use protection at a time when some in the content industry are challenging consumer rights to make use of lawfully acquired content.

“Fair use is central to innovation because it allows for the invention of new products for the benefit of the public, not just major copyright owners. Fair use principles have protected innovators who brought new technologies to the public, and in the absence of fair use protections, we would have no VCRs, no tape recorders, no iPods, no TiVos and no Slingbox.

“Fair use also protects the activities of consumers, librarians and educators. These users of content should feel empowered to make full use of lawfully acquired content and information, not fearful of litigation. For this important group of citizens, the clarification of fair use provided by H.R. 1201 is essential.

“I congratulate Representatives Boucher and Doolittle on this vital piece of legislation. I encourage all Members of Congress to give this bill the thought and support it deserves. This is a critical step toward protecting the American public from those that would block the full and fair promotion of content and innovation. I pledge the full support of CEA.”

About CEA:
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the consumer technology industry through technology policy, events, research, promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA represents more than 2,100 corporate members involved in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and integration of audio, video, mobile electronics, wireless and landline communications, information technology, digital imaging, home networking, multimedia and accessory products, as well as related services that are sold through consumer channels. Combined, CEA’s members account for more than $140 billion in annual sales. CEA’s resources are available online at http://www.CE.org, the definitive source for information about the consumer electronics industry.

CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES – Defining Tomorrow’s Technology. All profits from CES are reinvested into industry services, including technical training and education, industry promotion, engineering standards development, market research and legislative advocacy.

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