Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., a leading copyright and anti-piracy advocate in the Senate, lambasted the Republican majority leadership in Congress Dec. 8 for sandbagging a host of intellectual property b

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., a leading copyright and anti-piracy advocate in the Senate, lambasted the Republican majority leadership in Congress Dec. 8 for sandbagging a host of intellectual property bills that would have benefitted the music, movie and software industries.

Many of the bills had already passed the Senate or the House.

Leahy, who issued the statement on the final day of the 108th Congress, said GOP leaders held the bills "hostage" in order to leverage passage of other legislation.

"Instead of making inroads in this fight, we face a Republican roadblock," said Leahy. As one example, Leahy pointed to the scuttling of the ART Act, [The Artists' Rights and Theft Prevention Act, S. 1932], a bill that passed the Judiciary Committee and then the full Senate by unanimous consent.

"These provisions would provide new tools in the fight against bootleg copies of movies snatched from the big screen by camcorders smuggled into theaters," said Leahy. "Our bill would adopt a creative solution developed by the Copyright Office to address the growing problem of piracy of pre-release works."

The ART act would also have allowed labels and music publishers to negotiate under a statutory license a new royalty rate for new physical-copy media, such as different versions of a song included on a super audio CD.

"Republican obstruction is ensuring that these problems will be left unaddressed by this Senate and by this Congress," Leahy said.

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