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Boucher Introduces Fair Use Rights Bill

Boucher’s bill would limit the scope of the prohibition to circumvention for the purpose of copyright infringement. Circumvention for the purpose of exercising fair use rights would be permitted under the legislation. The legislation would also permit the making and distribution of hardware and software if the technology is capable of substantial non-infringing use.

The bill is likely to encounter fierce opposition from the well-funded music and movie industries, which have already spent millions to shut down file swapping sites and view the DMCA as essential to avoiding another Napster-like run on copyrighted material.

“The next step is to build a stronger base in the House and line up support in the Senate,” Boucher said. “I will make a prediction about this legislation: we’re going to pass the bill. I would point out that it took six years to pass the DMCA.”