Some entertainment industry executives are pushing for quick consideration in the new Congress of new copyright laws, including one that would make it a crime to camcord a movie.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (The Hollywood Reporter) -- Some entertainment industry executives are pushing for quick consideration in the new Congress of new copyright laws, including one that would make it a crime to camcord a movie.
While some industry lobbyists think there might be an early window of opportunity to win quick passage of the legislation, most executives and congressional aides think it will take more time.
The camcorder legislation was included in a package that also made it easier for law enforcement to crack down on pirates who illegally distribute videos, songs and other copyrighted works before their release to the public. The bill died at the end of the 108th Congress as it got caught up in a fight over unrelated legislation to reform boxing pushed by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. But the measure is sure to be revived in the 109th Congress.
The package also included the Family Movie Act. There is fear among some Hollywood lobbyists that the new Congress might want to write provisions in the Family Movie Act that would give the makers of content-screening video players like the ClearPlay unit more freedom over studio works.
It is unclear, however, if Congress wants to move fast on anything. Other "big-ticket" issues are at the forefront of the 109th, such as Social Security legislation and federal judicial nominations.
There are also questions about the willingness of the GOP, especially in the House, to aid the entertainment industry on any of its priorities. The industry is largely viewed as a Democratic stronghold, with many of its leading lights giving big contributions to the liberal and moderate lawmakers.
Lawmakers are reorganizing Congress just this week (Jan. 3), and most of the committees are picking up new members, with chairmanship changes in the Senate.
Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., takes over the Senate Judiciary Committee from Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. But Hatch was named chairman of the panel's Intellectual Property Subcommittee. Hatch has become one of Congress' experts on copyright law, and giving him the subcommittee allows him to retain some authority over the subject.