QuoteA Spanish intellectual property law has finally banned unauthorized peer-to-peer file-sharing in Spain, making it a civil offense even to download content for personal use. The legislation, approved by Congress on Thursday, toughens previous provisions. An early May circular from Spain's fiscal general del estado, or chief prosecutor, allowed downloads for purely personal use.
QuoteWould there be an impact on consumers' monthly bills?
Copps: Absolutely--there could be an impact. I think you're much better off, again, if you're a VoIP or wireless provider, there's a possibility now that your bills are going to go up because we haven't included the broadband. When everyone participates in the (system) it's more equitable and fair and you don't feel the pain as much. It could well be consumers are going to feel more pain, and that's something we always have to be sensitive and alive to. Consumers, too often, don't get the priority concern that they ought to get.
QuoteIs this an example of what is to come in the United States or other parts of Europe? People have long discussed this concept, known as "compulsory licensing." Meaning that basically the government assumes people are going to be putting copyrighted material on this blank media, Other ideas in the same vein include licensing fees imposed on DSL or cable customers, again assuming they are going to be making unauthorized copies of copyrighted material.
Quote"It puts Hollywood, acting through the FCC, in charge of how consumer electronics manufacturers should build their devices," said Art Brodsky, a spokesman for the nonprofit group Public Knowledge, one of the plaintiffs in the suit. Senate committee aides said earlier this week that a number of Republicans share concerns about the government's wading into technological mandates. They would rather not see the provisions in the bill at all but added them after pressure from Democrats like Barbara Boxer, who counts a large chunk of the entertainment industry in her California constituency.
QuoteCongress is mandating the use of DRM, plain and simple. Although one part of the bill seems to give a nod to fair use, it's done in the same way as it was under the DMCA. Meaning, the bill ignores fair use. It reads that the FCC's regulation won't affect fair use rights-well, it won’t. Those fair use limitations still exist under the copyright law-but as we know well, DRM legally trumps fair use thanks to the DMCA.
QuoteThe less (as in "not") noticed event relates to the passage of an important economic stimulus bill that for months had been stalled while Beacon Hill legislators debated a universal health coverage bill with a higher priority. The passage of the bill, of course, was widely reported. What wasn't noted (except by IBM's Bob Sutor at his blog and few, if any, others) is the fact that a certain amendment that had been added to the Senate version of the same bill last fall did not survive the final reconciliation of the Senate and House versions of the legislation. That amendment, if approved, would have dramatically curtailed the power of the State CIO to set IT standards policies (or any other IT or CT policy, for that matter). You can read all about that saga in this and a number of later entries in the OpenDocument blog entry folder.