House Passes Family Entertainment and Copyright Act

On April 19, 2005, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005. The legislation is expected to be signed into law by President Bush. Read S.167 here.

“TITLE I–ARTISTS’ RIGHTS AND THEFT PREVENTION” makes the following acts criminal violations: a) unauthorized recording of motion pictures at a motion picture facility, and/or b) infringing a work being prepared for commercial distribution.

“TITLE II–EXEMPTION FROM INFRINGEMENT FOR SKIPPING AUDIO AND VIDEO CONTENT IN MOTION PICTURES” allegedly benefits companies that sanitize media, including but not limited to movies, and the individuals that desire the censored content. Hollywood contends that this legislation which allows alteration of original works impinges the moral rights of authors, directors, and others. To view an essay setting forth the history of the moral rights (“le droit moral”) of authors click here now.

“TITLE III–NATIONAL FILM PRESERVATION” gives reauthorization to the National Film Preservation Board and Foundation.

“TITLE IV–PRESERVATION OF ORPHAN WORKS” contains amendments regarding the lawful reproduction of copyrighted works by libraries and archives.