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Copyright Lobby Seeks To Scrap Online Music Bill

A broad coalition of entertainment companies, advertisers and sports leagues will descend on Capitol Hill in Washington on Monday, seeking to scrap U.S. legislation requiring music labels to offer the same licensing deal at the same price to all online music ventures.

“That measure would create a number of new regulations and impediments for the electronic distribution of copyrighted material before the marketplace has a chance to develop on its own and would cause enormous harm to consumers,” the Copyright Assembly said in the letter to lawmakers.

The coalition includes the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, the Interactive Digital Software Association, the Association of American Publishers, the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the National Basketball Association, the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and the National Football League.

Rep. Rick Boucher (Republican, Virginia) introduced the legislation this summer, saying he was concerned that the major recording labels would somehow lock up the online music business. Boucher has been a longtime friend of internet tech ventures, including Napster.

Members of the Copyright Assembly say Boucher’s legislation could “stifle America’s copyright industries by substituting government regulation on the internet for business models and contractual arrangements that promote flexibility, experimentation and adaptation to consumer demand.”

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