C’righters call on pols

Coalition of entertainment congloms say no to legislation

WASHINGTON — A broad coalition of entertainment congloms, advertisers and sports leagues will call on Capitol Hill today to strike down legislation requiring music labels to offer the same licensing deal at the same price to all online music ventures.

“That measure would create a number of new regulations and impediments for the electronic distribution of copyrighted material before the marketplace has a chance to develop on its own and would cause enormous harm to consumers,” the Copyright Assembly said in the letter to lawmakers.

The coalition includes the Motion Picture Assn. of America, the Recording Industry Assn. of America, the Interactive Digital Software Assn., the Assn. of American Publishers, the American Assn. of Advertising Agencies, the National Basketball Assn., the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and the National Football League.

Rep. Rick Boucher (R-Va.) introduced the legislation this summer, saying he was concerned that the major recording labels would somehow lock up the online music biz. Boucher has been a longtime friend of Internet tech ventures, including Napster.

Members of the Copyright Assembly say Boucher’s legislation could “stifle America’s copyright industries by substituting government regulation on the Internet for business models and contractual arrangements that promote flexibility, experimentation and adaptation to consumer demand.”

Boucher’s office could not be reached for comment late Friday.

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