We now have the right!

The Balance Shifts In Copyright Battle
With last week’s introduction of U.S. legislation protecting “consumers’ rights in the digital age,” the stage is set for a heated debate next year about what home users would be allowed to do with copyrighted music and video, and how far the entertainment industry could go to protect its content.
No action is expected this session of Congress on any of the piracy-vs.-privacy bills introduced by either side before the session ends in mid-October. But lawmakers will have to hash out the details next year as file sharing continues to grow and Hollywood tries to roll out its own digital services.
“Right now, it is the entertainment industry vs. the technology industry, and the consumers are watching from the sidelines,” says Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., who introduced the Digital Choice and Freedom Act on Wednesday. “Consumers have rights … that cannot be ignored.”
Lofgren’s bill, and the Digital Media Consumers’ Rights Act introduced Thursday by Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., and Rep. John Doolittle, R-Calif., seek to amend copyright law to reaffirm and clarify the principle of “fair use” so consumers can keep time-shifting broadcasts and transfer other content to new media such as MP3 players.
Provisions of the bills would let:
* Consumers play digital works on devices of their choice, such as a personal video recorder, to save a digital TV broadcast to watch later.
* Consumers sell or give away the original copies of digital works they have bought.
* Manufacturers market devices that make non-infringing digital copies. (Uploading to the Net may not be included.)
The proposals conflict with measures introduced earlier this year that expand protections for copyrights held by record labels and movie studios. Those bills would require built-in copy protection for all digital devices and let copyright holders search for illegal files on the PCs of individuals using peer-to-peer file sharing systems.
“It’s going to be a huge battle,” says Gary Shapiro of the Consumer Electronics Association. “Both sides are gearing up.”