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Business News (more headlines) 05-23-2003

CEA Commends Colorado Governor's Veto Of Anti-Consumer State DMCA Bill

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The following statement was issued today by Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President and CEO Gary Shapiro in response to Colorado Governor Bill Owens's veto of Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)-backed legislation to broaden state laws against communications piracy.

"In vetoing HB1303, Governor Owens protected the people of Colorado against those who seek to curtail innovation and consumer rights and has once-again underscored his position as a leading advocate for technological advancement.

"HB1303 was promoted as addressing only theft of cable service. In reality, this vague bill would have extended and broadened the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to criminalize honest consumers and legitimate products, subjecting Colorado citizens to massive civil penalties for using lawful devices in the privacy of their homes.

"CEA stands firmly against piracy and theft of service. However, as Governor Owens made clear, any bill addressing this issue must be narrowly drafted so it does not penalize lawful consumers, manufacturers and retailers.

"While we commend Gov. Owens for his courageous veto, we are troubled that harmful legislation similar to that rejected in Colorado remains pending in many states. Versions of this anti-consumer legislation are under active consideration in Texas and Tennessee, and one has been passed by the Tennessee legislature.

"The technology community joins retailers and consumer groups in urging lawmakers in these states to follow the lead of Governor Owens and reject this ill-considered legislation."

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