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reply001 - Before the COPYRIGHT OFFICE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS...

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1 Before the COPYRIGHT OFFICE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS Washington, D.C. ______________________________________ ) In the Matter of ) ) PROMOTION OF DISTANCE ) Docket No. 98-12B EDUCATION THROUGH ) DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES ) ) ______________________________________ ) REPLY COMMENTS OF BROADCAST MUSIC, INC. BROADCAST MUSIC, INC. (“BMI”), submits these reply comments, pursuant to the request for comments and notice of public hearings of the Copyright Office (“the Office”) published in the Federal Register at 63 Fed. Reg. 71167 (December 23, 1998) and amended at 64 Fed. Reg. 9178 (February 24, 1999). 1 BMI has reviewed the many thoughtful and informative statements on this topic made by educators, librarians, service and technology suppliers as well as representatives of content providers speaking on behalf of the publishing, film, visual arts and music industries. It seems clear to us that despite a divergence of opinions, particularly between those in the academic and content provider communities, there are several areas where there is substantial common ground. 1 BMI previously submitted the written statement of Marvin L. Berenson, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, dated January 26, 1999 and presented oral testimony of Judith M. Saffer, Assistant General Counsel, at the public hearings held in Washington DC on January 26, 1999.
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2 BMI encourages the Office to focus on these areas in preparing its report and recommendations to Congress. While some of those writing on behalf of colleges and universities, professors and librarians strongly advocated broad new distance education exemptions, 2 the panel of representatives from educational institutions took a more pragmatic approach in their oral testimony at the public hearings held in Washington, DC on January 27, 1999 3 . Near the end of this panel’s testimony, 4 Shira Perlmutter, Associate Register for Policy and International Affairs, asked the following in order to encapsulate the panel’s views: “Just to clarify, I think I heard from at least a couple of witnesses a view that the fair use provisions in the current copyright law combined with fair use guidelines could be sufficient to deal with the new issues posed by digital distance education.”(emphasis added). Each of the panelists responded with an unqualified “yes.” (DC transcript at pp. 134- 135). This perspective is similar to those offered by BMI, many content providers 2 See e.g., Docket no. 2, Education Management Corporation at p.2 (“There is a compelling need for a broad exemption from exclusive rights of copyright owners for distance education utilizing digital technologies.”); Docket no. 10, University of Montana, at pp 1-2; Docket no. 12, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at par 4(c); Docket no. 21, North Carolina State University at pp. 14-15. Docket numbers refer to written comments in the order they appear on the Office’s Distance Education web site (http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/disted).
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