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`Fair-use' friends in high places

Reps. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) and John Doolittle (R-Calif.) will hold a
"Fight for Fair Use" press conference in tandem with the Home Recording Rights
Coalition at the Consumer Electronics Show.

The two congressmen are co-sponsors of the planned Digital Media Consumer
Rights Act of 2003, which appears to be a reintroduction of a similar bill
introduced in October 2002.

The intent of the bill -- which would amend the Digital Millennium Copyright
Act of 1998 -- is to decriminalize the circumvention of copy-protection measures
for those making only personal copies of digital content.

But what the congressman and the consumer-electronics industry see as
protecting long-established fair-use and home recording rights, the
entertainment industry sees as opening the floodgates to widespread pirating of
their content.

The press conference is scheduled for Jan. 11 at 10 a.m. at the Las Vegas
Convention Center.