PublishedSeptember 4, 1997

CCIA Endorses Ashcroft Digital Copyright Bill

(Washington, DC) — Ed Black, President of the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) today pledged his support of S.1146, the “Digital Copyright and Technology Education Act” introduced by Senator John Ashcroft(R-MO).

“Senator Ashcrosft’s bill pave the road to the 21st century. In a single piece of legislation he has managed to protect transmission of information on the Internet, to facilitate use of the Internet as an educational tool, and to promote innovation in advanced technology. The crafting of the bill represents an extraordinary accomplishment. We look forward to working with Senator Ashcroft to pass this bill into law,” stated Black.

The Ashcroft legislation maintains the current balance in copyright law. It protects the rights of authors and others who create content while allowing for the broad dissemination of information over the Internet. In essence, it brings copyright law into the digital age.

The bill accomplishes this objective in several ways:

1) It clarifies the potential liability of those who transfer information over the Internet without having knowledge and control over such information.

2) It provides for a rapid response to copyright infringement by facilitating the quick removal of material in response to a complaint by a copyright owner. This will limit any harm incurred by improper use of such material.

3) It will encourage the use of digital technology in education, research and library archives, thereby providing wide public access to the information so critical to our daily lives.

4) It would make illegal to circumvent anti-copying technology provided the circimvention occures in the course of an independent copyright violation. By focusing on illegal conduct and not outlawing multipurpose technology, and by requiring that the circumvention constitute a copyright infringement in order to violate this provision, the bill promotes technological innovation.

“This is a landmark piece of legislation that preserves the current balance in copyright law and protects digital communication and innovation in advanced technology from unfair discrimination,” concluded Black.

CCIA is an association of computer and communications industry firms, as represented by their most senior executives. Small, medium and large in size, these companies represent a broad cross-section of the industry, employing over a half million workers and generating annual revenues beyond 200 billion dollars.

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