Thursday, November 18, 2004

You may need permission to fast-forward

John writes:
Here's another reason to fight Arlen Specter!
Congress is considering a new copyright law:
The proposal started with the Hollywood lobby trying to prevent DVD makers from including technology that would allow people to skip through the promotional material that comes with movies at the beginning and end of DVD films.

But now lawmakers are realizing that the bill is written so loosely that it could make criminals out of viewers sitting at home who use a remote control to fast-forward past commercials. (The bill specifically allows people to fast-forward through parts of a movie if it is too gory or sexually explicit — a right people already have, of course.)
This is crazy. How would anyone decide what is legal to skip, and what is not? If, say, I have a pathological fear of spiders, could I get govt permission to skip movie scenes with spiders?

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