Introduction of the Music Owners Listening Rights Act of 2000

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From: Tom Whore (
Date: Wed Sep 27 2000 - 08:36:27 PDT

Floor Statement of Congressman Rick Boucher Introduction of the Music
Owners Listening Rights Act of 2000
September 25, 2000

I am pleased to join with my colleagues, Representatives Burr, LaHood and
Upton, in the introduction of legislation to reform our copyright laws so
that individual consumers can store their own music on an Internet site
and gain quick access to it anytime they choose, from anywhere they

The introduction of this legislation is a necessary step in addressing the
growing chasm between new technology and old laws. It is a matter of high
importance to Internet users. A new poll found that 79% of frequent
Internet users believe that "copyright laws should not infringe on an
individuals access to the music that they have legally purchased." Our
legislation will ensure that this wholly legitimate public expectation is
not thwarted.

Those same Internet users understand the responsibility that consumers
have to pay legitimate royalties to the artists whose music they enjoy.
Approximately the same majority of those surveyed (78%) said that the
sharing and swapping of music which has not been purchased or without the
consent of the artist or record company should not be permitted.

Our legislation, the Music Owners Listening Rights Act of 2000, makes the
Internet based transmission of a personal interactive performance (PIP) of
a sound recording acceptable under copyright law. Simply stated, a
consumer who lawfully owns a work of music, such as a CD, will be able to
store it on the Internet and then downstream it for personal use at a time
and place of his choosing.

This technology makes it possible for people to travel from one place to
another without needing to carry their record collection with them.
Instead, they will be able to turn on a computer or other Internet
connection device and gain immediate access to their music through the
services of an Internet music provider. After the consumer shows proof of
ownership of the music, he will be able to listen to it streamed to him
over the Internet from any place that he has Internet access. Consumers
would not be able to transfer music to someone else or use the music for
commercial purposes under the provisions of our legislation.

Since the only people who will be able to use the provision we are
proposing have already purchased the music, the song writers, recording
artist and record labels will lose not a penny in sales. The person who
purchases music will, however, have a new opportunity to listen to his
music from any place that he has Internet access.

The new Internet application that enables purchasers to listen to their
music from a variety of locations is a major advance. It offers greater
mobility and convenience to those who purchase music while not depriving
music creators of sales. We believe that the technology which gives rise
to this new convenience should be encouraged, and our legislation will
remove legacy copyright restrictions which were written for a different
era and that threaten to strangle the technology in its infancy.

It is our hope that other Members of the House will join us in recognizing
the significant opportunities this new generation of technology holds and
in recognizing the tremendous new consumer convenience this new Internet
application makes possible.

The co-sponsorship of our measure by other Members is welcome.

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