Bills proposed to protect fair use

A couple of congresspeople have proposed laws to restore customers rights to make copies of digital media for personal use, to share with a family member or friend. The bills repeal restrictions on the rights of “fair use” imposed by the DMCA’s draconian enforcement of copy protection policies.
There’s a sensible discussion of the bills on SlashDot. The level of SlashDot discussion about these issues has improved greatly in the last few years, from knee-jerk antigovernment libertarianism and simple ignorance of government to a greater understanding of how laws are made and how to influence the legislative process.
The bills are being proposed at the end of the Congressional session, so they are unlikely to get passed this year — but that’s ok — I hope they spark more press coverage and good discussion. I hope the SlashDot conversation can coalesce into an advocacy group of tech-savvy people who influence the creation of more sensible laws. I hope these ideas become mainstream common sense, so politicians can be populist about making sure ordinary people can lend a recording to a friend, the same way we can lend a book to a friend.

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