Electronic Frontier Foundation

Protecting Rights and Promoting Freedom on the Electronic Frontier

September18,2003 The HonorableSamBrownback 303 Hart Senate Office BuiJding Washington,D.C. 20510 Dear SenatorBrownback: We write to expressour strong support for your recently introduced Consumers,Schools,and Libraries Digital Rights ManagementAwarenessAct of 2003. The bill takes important steps toward righting copyright's balance. Digital commerce can flourish only when membersof the public are fully informed of the capabilitiesof the digital mediaproductsthey purchase, can rest assured and that their privacy is safeguarded online. Moreover, innovators must not be saddled with unnecessary and anticompetitive federal technologymandates. When the entertainmentindustrieshave resorted to ever more draconianenforcementefforts to protect their businesses the digital age, it has in becomeimperativethat the federalgovernment to protectthesepublic interests. act The DRM AwarenessAct would help protect the public's customaryand fair use rights with respectto digital media. Its labeling requirementsensurethat customersknow what they are purchasing, enabling informed decisions about technologically crippled media products. Its digital first saleprovisionspreservethe ability of libraries, schools,and charitableorganizations to accept transfers and donations of digital media. Further, by imposing strict limits on the Federal Communication Commission's ability to impose federal regulations (i.e., "tech mandates")on digital television innovators,the bill leavesthe field open to new developments and possibilities we cannotevenimaginetoday. Second,and equally important, the bill safeguards privacy of Internet usersby requiring that the a civil lawsuit be filed beforean Internetserviceprovider canbe compelledto disclosethe names or identifying information of its subscribers.At a time whenthe RecordingIndustry Association of America hasusedclerk-stamped subpoenas obtain the identitiesof more than 1,600Internet to users,this bill ensures that Internet userscan getjudicial scrutiny of suchdemandsin the future. Critically, the bill reaffirms that the digital age does not change Americans' basic rights to privacy and anonymity. We commendyou for your efforts to preserveAmericans' digital rights, and will encourage - our membersand newslettersubscribers write to their membersof Congressasking them to coto sponsorthe measure. Thank you again for your efforts and do not hesitateto contact us if we can be of assistance to you. Sincerely, Wendy Seltzer
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Staff Attorney Att'n: Kevin Krufky, LegislativeAssistant

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454 Shotwell Street.
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