321 Studios' Moore to testify to House panel.

The founder of 321 Studios, which developed software that allows consumers to copy DVDs, has been added to the copyright House panel hearing set for tomorrow (May 12). The subcommittee will debate legislation that would broaden consumer fair-use rights with regard to copying VHS tapes, cassettes and CDs.

Presently, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act forbids such activity.

Robert Moore, founder of 321, plans to testify that his software has features that allow significant non-infringing uses of copyrighted products.

The Motion Picture Assn. of America has sued the company and has barred it from selling the software, charging that the product allows copyright infringement and would be used for infringing purposes.

The bill in question, the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act, H.R. 107, calls for greater "fair use" of copyrighted material. The author, Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., has long held that a device capable of significant non-infringing use should be lawful, even if it could be used to infringe copyrights.

Both the MPAA and the RIAA say that a change in the law would open the floodgates of piracy and make it more difficult to prove infringement.