ACCOPS 2003 Response from my Rep

Received this reply from a Connecticut representative on ACCOPS, or Author, Consumer, and Computer Owner Protection and Security Act of 2003, just thought it might fit in this forum.

Thank you for contacting my office in opposition to H.R. 2752, the “Author, Consumer, and Computer Owner Protection and Security Act of 2003 (ACCOPS).” I appreciate your taking the time to share your views.

On July 16, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) introduced H.R. 2752, legislation to enhance domestic and international enforcement of copyright laws. Advocates of the measure claim that existing laws do not go far enough to protect copyright holders such as artists, authors, and software developers, and that penalties for illegally obtaining this work must be bolstered. Under this measure, individuals could face up to five years in prison for online copyright infringement and fined up to $250,000 for up-loading a single song to a file-share network. In short, ACCOPS would make it a felony to transfer music over the internet without copyright holder authorization.

ACCOPS has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property where it has not yet received a hearing. You will be pleased to know that I am not a cosponsor of H.R. 2752. Should it come to the floor for a vote, rest assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind.

While it is important to uphold and enforce copyright infringement laws, I believe Congress must strive to find solutions to the relevant challenges that have arisen with our technological advancements with a degree of common sense. To this end, we must come to an equitable agreement that retains the rights of owners and artists while allowing consumers to access material without fear of committing a crime. I do not believe that this bill strikes that balance.

Thanks again for contacting me. Your opinions help me better serve you and the people of eastern Connecticut. Should you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or my staff.

All the best,

Rob Simmons
Member of Congress
Second Distict, Connecticut

so…you can download…but not upload??
(which doesn’t work ofcourse when no-one uploads)

Why don’t we just burn the songs onto recordable media and trade those among friends? There law is bypassed.

Originally posted by Pirate80
Why don’t we just burn the songs onto recordable media and trade those among friends? There law is bypassed.

I don’t think so… you aren’t allowed to trade any copyrighted materials (unless you are selling your original copy to somebody), no matter what media (internet, cdrw, c64 datatape ;)) is being used…

BadReligionPR, I am writing my Rep a letter as well. I was not aware of this initative and will not set like a mouse and let the corporations roll over me. As you well know the 2004 presidential elections are completely funded without private donations. At least that is what I think I heard on the radio by Dean. Bush we already know about. We are rapidly being ruled by corporate figureheads. IMHO.

I hope you don’t mind, I put up this letter in the news as I want to try and motivate some more people to let their reps know this isn’t right.

~Crabby

I would have news submitted, but I didn’t know whether it’s legal to post his reply without consent or whatever.

Bad Religion,I commend you on your thoughts,and even further,the balls to let the powers that be get informed of them.
With the almighty dollar taking more presidence now more than ever these days,corporations are looking for new and unique ways of extorting money from you,and I. It will take nothing but a march of the proportions of the Million Man to get this point across. Everyday music lovers like myself are being dragged thru litigation,because the Ruffled Idiots Association of America refused to act on the internet music business model in it’s
early stages,while sitting on their collective asses.getting money fro others’
work

“I would have news submitted, but I didn’t know whether it’s legal to post his reply without consent or whatever.”

Sorry I should have asked you first. I was furious when I read that. Also, as a public servant I felt his stance was not a privacy issue. It is an attrocity to the American public what is going on. I just wish there were more like him. Others such as Orrin Hatch is who I am concerned about.

I will pull the story if you like. I apologize.

Dan

No need to apologize or pull the story, I’m just not sure about legal stuff. Anyway it paints him in a positive light (I think) so I doubt he would complain.

Me neither, but I just finished sending a letter to Marilyn N. Musgrave ® Colorado and gave her an earful. :bigsmile: I have just about had it with this medieval mindset of cutting off peoples hands for stealing a loaf of bread.

I started getting upset a couple days ago, with the Austrailian student NG getting recommended by the prosecution for the maximum five year sentence for running a napster like site. The students made no money whatsoever and it was run from the kids parents bedroom. Another in his group is being keel-hauled for posting re-mixes of songs he created. The decision was to be made Nov17 but the judge postponed it one day as the student NG, had an exam on the 17th. I was really shaken when I heard that logic coming from a judge. It seemed almost insane to me. Does passing an exam have any relevance if you are about to go to prison for five years? Can you do well on an exam if you will be facing a judgement like that the following day? It’s like a dream or something.

I damn sure ain’t buying any products from the labels. If everyone stopped for 90 days this would all be over. But it is impossible to get everyone together.

UPDATE: This item was added to EFF.org action center.

They encourage all of you to write letters to your own congressmen/women. Don’t get pushed around or think if enough other people write in you’ll get to reap all the benefits. Speak out!

http://action.eff.org/action/index.asp?step=2&item=2753

Dear Representative,

I am writing to voice my strong opposition to the Author, Consumer and Computer Owner Protection and Security Act (ACCOPS, HR 2752). ACCOPS would make it a felony to transfer music over the Internet without copyright holder authorization. In other words, a teenager could go to jail for five years, pay a $250,000 fine and lose her right to vote for uploading a single song to a file-sharing network.

60 million Americans use file-sharing technology; turning them all into felons is not reasonable public policy. We should look for solutions that compensate copyright holders, not protect the antique business models of the recording industry. I urge you to read about some of them at the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s “Let the Music Play” campaign website:

http://www.eff.org/share/

The punishment outlined in ACCOPS is vastly disproportionate to the crime of copyright infringement and I urge you to fight against this outrageous bill. I hope I’ll be able to tell more of your constituents that you are doing the right thing on HR 2752. Thank you for your time.

I think I wii post this on Monday. There will be a better chance of folks seeing it. I have also located a site that when you type in your address, tells you who your rep is and directs you to a page that allows text entry and submits your letter to the representative. http://www.house.gov/writerep/

We must show our disgust for this measure and defeat it. Only a few radicals are going to be for it. ie Orrin Hatch and this fruitcake Conyers.

It’s not futile, there is a growing concern about this type legislation. Sen. Coleman had at one time received more mail from the filesharing subpoena issue, than mail regarding the war in Iraq.

Also, what people forget, this is a privacy issue as well. After alll these laws can’t be enforced without the subpoena power behind them, sidestepping the judges decision for such a breech. We aren’t terrorists but we are being treated as such.

Sen Brownback realises this and has presented legislation to stop this invasion of privacy.

The bottom line is on the Internet you are guilty until you can prove you are innocent. Brownbacks bill would put a stop to this.

In my simple way of seeing things I feel if we let this inquisition continue, it will not be long before other governments around the world follow suit. I want my representitive to know I will not support a corporate figurehead. They are a representative of the people.