Washington, DC (May 5, 2004)–A Congressional Hearing for H.R. 107, the Digital Media Consumers’ Rights Act (DMCRA), has been set for Wednesday, May 12, at 10:00 AM Eastern. The DMCRA has been acknowledged and endorsed by major industry players like Intel Corp., Philips Consumer Electronics, Sun Microsystems, Bell South, Verizon, SBC, Qwest, Gateway, and the Consumer Electronics Association, among others, as a necessary balancing mechanism to restore consumers’ fair use rights in the digital era.
The DMCRA, introduced by Reps. Rick Boucher (D-VA) and John Doolittle (R-CA) and co-sponsored by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX), would re-affirm consumer fair use rights and balance the protection afforded copyright owners under current interpretations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
321 Studios founder and president Robert Moore has been asked to testify at the Congressional hearing. 321 Studios is the developer of the DVDXCOPY series of DVD backup software, a product now banned in the U.S. after a group of Hollywood Studios sued the company and two federal judges decided that DVDXCOPY was in violation of the 1998 DMCA.
A recent nationwide demographic study of 321 Studios’ customers found that nearly 70 percent of their customers are parents who use DVDXCOPY to create backups of DVDs before their children can damage them.
DVDXCOPY has been a top seller on retail store shelves like Best Buy and Wal-Mart until recent court injunctions forced the company to take the product down, resulting in nearly 300 layoffs to date at 321.
In March, 321 Studios launched Five Days of Protest by directing customers and supporters to express their outrage. Consumers sent more than 111,000 emails and faxes to lawmakers, the media, and Hollywood Studio executives.