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House Panel Approves Family Movie Act

On March 3, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property approved, by voice vote, an anti-piracy bill (S. 167) that includes the text of the Family Movie Act. The Senate approved the measure by unanimous consent on February 1 (see The Source, 2/4/05).

Sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the Family Movie Act would exempt from copyright protection and trademark laws technology designed to filter out unwanted audio and video content on a DVD or videotape for individual consumers. The bill would require that the software manufacturers provide clear and conspicuous notice that the movie being shown has been altered in a way that was unintended by the director or copyright holder. The notification requirement would apply only to technology manufactured 180 days after the bill’s enactment.

Although the House approved a version of the Family Movie Act last year, the Senate did not act on the legislation before the 108th Congress adjourned for the year (see The Source, 10/8/04).

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