CEA Supports Music Online Act

The Music Online Competition Act (MOCA) has won the imprimatur of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), according to an announcement made August 8. The recently-introduced bipartisan bill crafted by Congressmen Chris Cannon (R-Utah) and Rick Boucher (D-Virginia) intends to insure competition in the delivery of online music—and to preserve music lovers' rights to copy their own recordings for private use.

The Cannon-Boucher bill would allow consumers to make their own backup copies of recordings they have legally purchased, as well as allow webcasters to make "ephemeral" copies of recordings for transmission in several formats. If MOCA becomes law, neither of these activities would violate copyrights. The bill's backers claim that it would not foster piracy, but would instead promote commerce by encouraging the sampling of music over the Internet.

MOCA would also help the market for recorders, especially hard-disk and optical-disk recorders made for use with computers. By encouraging consumers' involvement with music, it could indirectly boost sales of audio equipment. "The consumer electronics industry recognizes the legitimate concerns of the creative community in the digital age," said CEA president Gary Shapiro. "The Cannon-Boucher approach is the kind of tailored approach CEA supports, because it benefits copyright owners while at the same time preserving American consumers' First Amendment and home recording rights in the digital age."