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Fair Use Legislation

S. 167: FECA of 2005

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Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005

1/26/05 Introduced in Senate

2/1/05 Senate Committee on the Judiciary discharged by Unanimous Consent.

2/1/05 Passed in Senate: Passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent.

3/2/05 Referred to House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property.

3/3/05 Marked-up by House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property and forwarded to the House Judiciary Committee.

3/9/05 Passed by the House Judiciary Committee.

4/12/05 Reported by the Committee on Judiciary. H. Rept. 109-33, Part I.

4/12/05 Committee on House Administration discharged.

4/19/05 Passed in the House

4/27/05 Signed by President and became Public Law No: 109-009

On April 27, 2005, the President signed S. 167, the "Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005" (FECA). Some provisions in S. 167 were considered in the 108th Congress, but failed to move forward because the House of Representatives refused to take action due to controversial amendments added at the end of the session. S. 167 includes the following provisions of interest to the library community:

  • Reauthorizes the Library of Congress' National Film Preservation Board and National Film Preservation Foundation to permit the Library to engage in a preservation program for motion pictures.

  • Provides technical corrections to Section 108 (i) that allows libraries, under certain circumstances, to make copies of copyrighted works that are in the last 20 years of their copyright term. The exemption now applies to all types of copyrighted works.

  • Makes unauthorized use of a video camera in a movie theater to make a copy of a copyrighted work a criminal penalty, punishable by up to three years in jail.

  • Permits consumers to use technologies (e.g. Clearplay) to bypass objectionable material (e.g. violence) in motion pictures.

Because the most objectionable provisions were removed from S. 167 when it was reintroduced, there was little opposition to this legislation. Companion legislation, H.R. 357 was introduced on January 25. ARL and other members of the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) (Formely known as the Shared Legal Capability, SLC) have written a letter in support of S. 167.