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Hollings introduces copy-protection bill

Production studios and computer manufacturers would have one year to come up
with a copy-protection standard or face government intervention, according to a
bill introduced by Senate Commerce Committee chairman Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.)

'I believe the private sector is capable, through marketplace negotiations,
of adopting standards that will ensure the secure transmission of copyrighted
content on the Internet and over the airwaves,' Hollings said. 'But given the
pace of private talks so far, the private sector needs a nudge.'

The Walt Disney Co. and News Corp. have been pushing hard for such a bill,
arguing for it in a hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee earlier this

The movie studios applauded the bill's introduction, led by Disney.

'We gratefully endorse Sen. Hollings' bill, which defers to the private
sector, protects legitimate consumer home copying expectations, preserves fair
use and provides for upgradable standards to avoid freezing technology,' Disney
chairman Michael Eisner said in a prepared statement.

'Most important, the bill provides the needed discipline of a deadline for
the conclusion of industry negotiations,' he added.

Computer manufacturers, particularly Intel Corp., oppose any government
interference into negotiations over copyright protections.