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For Immediate Release
Washington, D.C. | Public Knowledge praises Governor Owens' decision to veto Colorado H.B. 1303 one of the "State-DMCA" bills promoted by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
Initially proposed as an update to cable-theft law, H.B. 1303 was overly broad and would have criminalized everyday consumer activities. "Although the drafters intended that the bill would only be used to prosecute the new thieves and pirates of the digital age," said Governor Owens after vetoing the bill, "H.B. 1303 could also stifle legal activity by entities all along the high-tech spectrum."
Colorado H.B. 1303 and other so-called State-DMCA bills give cable and internet providers the ability to dictate what consumer electronics a consumer could buy and legally hook-up to their subscription services. "Colorado cable theft and federal copyright laws are more than sufficient to protect against infringement," said Gigi Sohn, President of Public Knowledge. "This bill was much too broad and stepped on a number of consumer rights and expectations and thankfully Governor Owens understood that."
A number of "State-DMCA" bills have become law in some states, while others are pending in Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Oregon. The groups of concerned citizens, grass-roots consumer advocates, libraries, and consumer electronics organizations who realize the limitations these bills place on innovation and consumer choice, continue to combat the proponents of these bills across the nation.
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Public Knowledge is a public-interest advocacy and education organization that seeks to promote a balanced approach to intellectual property law and technology policy that reflects the "cultural bargain" intended by the framers of the constitution.
More information available at: http://www.publicknowledge.org
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