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COALITION SEEKS TO SILENCE ONLINE MUSIC BILL

MPAA, RIAA, NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL, Others to Lobby Congress Against Online Regulations
A broad coalition of entertainment companies, advertisers and sports leagues plans to invade Washington today, seeking to strike down legislation requiring music labels to offer the same licensing deal at the same price to all online music ventures, Variety reports.

"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 is a real association of associations, including the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, the Interactive Digital Software Association, the Association of American Publishers, the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the National Basketball Association, the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and the National Football League.

Rep. Rick Boucher (R-VA), who has in the past supported such online ventures as Napster (hitsdailydouble.com, 2/18), introduced the Music Online Competition Act in August (hitsdailydouble.com, 8/6), expressing concern that the Big Five labels would exert too much control over the flow of songs on the Internet by giving special treatment to their own online services over others.

According to Variety, 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."

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