US Family Entertainment and Copyright Act passed

June 2005

All Areas

The Family Entertainment and Copyright Act has been approved the House of Representatives and signed by President Bush into law on April 25th 2005. The Statute represents the entertainment industry’s latest attempt to thwart rampant piracy on file-swapping networks. The law had drawn some controversy because it broadly says that anyone who has even one copy of an unreleased film, software program or music file in a shared folder could be subjected to prison terms and fines of up to three years. Penalties would apply regardless of whether or not that file was downloaded. The statute also includes sections criminalizing the use of camcorders to record a movie in a theater, and authorizing the use of technologies that can delete offensive content from a film. “The protection of intellectual property rights is vital to the movie industry,” said Rep. Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican who joined Bush for the signing ceremony. “This bill is necessary to ensure that all those involved in the production of a film, from the director to the set carpenter, are not cheated”.


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