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Americans think government should avoid digital rights issues

More than half of Americans think the government should stay out of efforts to control online piracy — fearing that Congress meddling could create unintended consequences and stifle technological innovation.

A new survey by SutherlandGold, a San Francisco-based marketing communications firm, found that more than 53 percent think government intervention in piracy issues would just make things worse.

“Much has been made of Hollywood's powerful lobbying voice in the digital rights management debate,” said Lesley Gold, managing partner of SutherlandGold. “This survey shows that the technology community could greatly benefit from waking the real sleeping giant in this debate: consumers.”

“Clearly, consumers feel protecting their right to access content is a far greater priority than protecting the interests of copyright holders,” said Scott Sutherland, also a managing partner.

Despite a variety of measures pending in Congress to address online copyright issues, only 18 percent of those surveyed said it’s important that Congress make the online piracy issue a priority this year.

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