News Brief

RIAA Hails Passage of New Copyright Law

The RIAA Tuesday applauded the passage of an anti-piracy law that targets people who copy and distribute copyrighted music before the official release of the material and allows music producers to pre-register their work with the Register of Copyrights as "being prepared for commercial distribution." The bill, titled "The Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005" which passed unanimously in the Senate in March, also passed in the House of Representatives Tuesday and is now headed for President George W. Bush's desk for signature into law. It imposes both civil and criminal liabilities on people who pirate works and distribute them before their official release. The bill also provides an exception in copyright laws for technologies that alter portions of video or audio content of a movie, as long as no copy is made. This portion of the bill has engendered some controversy, as the editing of movies for objectionable content by such companies as Clear Play, Family Shield Technologies and Trilogy Studies is the subject of a copyright violation lawsuit between those companies and the Directors Guild of America.

-- Shankar Gupta