Family Entertainment Bill Clears House Hurdle

Music/film legislation heads to full committee.

A Senate-passed legislative package that would protect sound recordings and film works cleared a key House subcommittee on March 3.

The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property voted to send the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005 to the full committee.

Among other points, the legislation has a "pre-release" section: it would authorize civil remedies for infringement of a sound recording or movie being prepared for commercial distribution. It would also crack down on film piracy by making it a crime to use camcorders in movie theaters to steal films.

The bill also reauthorizes the National Film Preservation Act to save important films from decomposition.

The bill, S. 167 -- sponsored by Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; and John Cornyn, R-Texas -- passed the Senate in February.

In the 109th Congress, Hatch and Leahy will be the lead voices on the newly formed IP subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee.


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