A Double Chance for DMCA Reform

by Don Marti

Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) is planning to reintroduce the Digital Choice and Freedom Act of 2002, a bill that would reform the controversial anticircumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The bill would allow users to bypass copy restriction systems for fair use purposes, much like the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act, cosponsored by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA), John Doolittle (R-CA), Spencer Bachus (R-AL) and Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), proposes.

Rep. Lofgren plans to reintroduce her bill before March, said Steve Adamske, communications director and spokesperson for Rep. Lofgren. Rep. Boucher reintroduced his reform bill on January 7. Both were originally introduced in the last session of Congress but too late to make any progress.

What's the difference between the two reform bills? They're targeted at different committees--the Lofgren bill goes to the Committee on the Judiciary and the Boucher bill goes to the Energy and Commerce Committee. This split means double the chances for hearings, twice as much attention to the issue and DMCA reform will be twice as hard to block.

Neither the Committee on the Judiciary or the Energy and Commerce Committee has yet scheduled hearings on DMCA reform for this session of Congress.

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