CEA and HRRC caution Congress against design mandates that could constrain technology

The most recent request by content companies to expand copyright law and dictate how consumer electronics products can be designed and used is a bad solution in search of a problem, said Consumer Electronics Association President and CEO Gary Shapiro in testimony delivered today before a congressional committee. Testifying on behalf of CEA and the Home Recording Rights Coalition (HRRC), Shapiro made his comments before a hearing held by the Senate Judiciary Committee exploring “The Analog Hole: Can Congress Protect Copyright and Promote Innovation?”

Shapiro outlined the historic and vast expansion of copyright law, stating, “I ask you to consider that every time Congress accedes to the content community requests, someone else is paying the price, in terms of higher consumer prices, unavailable products and features or abusive litigation costs.”

In closing, Shapiro said, "As we consider these bills, please do not ignore the larger issue of U.S. competitiveness. While other countries are busy developing their technology industries to compete with America, we face attempts from the content companies to suppress technologies to preserve old business models. These technologies have made Americans creators. These new creators are your constituents and they are our consumers. They like to TiVo, time shift, place shift and manage their content and I can't imagine they want the law changed to deny them this right."

The Home Recording Rights Coalition can be found on the web at www.HRRC.org.

CEA's resources are available online at www.CE.org.