Pact sez both sides will back down from piracy fight

The record biz — long Hollywood’s staunch ally in the battle against digital piracy — is expected to break ranks today and announce a compromise deal with Silicon Valley.

Truce means that the music biz will stop trying to force tech firms to build anti-piracy technology into their wares. For months now, the Recording Industry Assn. of America has supported the movie industry’s campaign to do just that.

The new pact, brokered by the RIAA, marks a major shift from the near-standoff conditions between the entertainment and tech worlds in recent months, as each industry vied to protect its own interests in the marketplace.

Under the terms of the compromise, tech groups the Business Software Alliance and the Computer Systems Policy Project will not support mounting legislative efforts to reaffirm a consumer’s “fair use” right to copy entertainment fare in the digital age.

In return, the RIAA will back down on its own support for legislation that would make embedded copy-protection technologies standard operating equipment on many high-tech products, sources close to the situation said.

Conspicuously absent in the deal is the Motion Picture Assn. of America, which until now has moved in lock-step with the RIAA on matters of copyright policy. It’s not yet clear why the org chose to sit out the latest negotiations.

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