Have you ever made a tape of your favorite songs to enjoy in your car stereo? Have you ever bought a CD and ripped it to your portable MP3 player? If so, you should know that recent changes to copyright law have been used to take away your personal use rights to the media you legally acquire. That means that activities like making mixes or copying music to a portable player are quickly being restricted or prevented. DigitalConsumer.org is doing something about it. We are advocating a Consumer Technology Bill of Rights that will positively assert a consumer's rights to fair use.
1. Users have the right to "time-shift" content that they have legally acquired.
This gives you the right to record video or audio for later viewing or listening. For example, you can use a VCR to record a TV show and play it back later.
2. Users have the right to "space-shift" content that they have legally acquired.
This gives you the right to use your content in different places (as long as each use is personal and non-commercial). For example, you can copy a CD to a portable music player so that you can listen to the songs while you're jogging.
3. Users have the right to make backup copies of their content.
This gives you the right to make archival copies to be used in the event that your original copies are destroyed.
4. Users have the right to use legally acquired content on the platform of their choice.
This gives you the right to listen to music on your Rio, to watch TV on your iMac, and to view DVDs on your Linux computer.
5. Users have the right to translate legally acquired content into comparable formats.
This gives you the right to modify content in order to make it more usable. For example, a blind person can modify an electronic book so that the content can be read out loud.
6. Users have the right to use technology in order to achieve the rights previously mentioned.
This last right guarantees your ability to exercise your other rights. Certain recent copyright laws have paradoxical loopholes that claim to grant certain rights but then criminalize all technologies that could allow you to exercise those rights. In contrast, this Bill of Rights states that no technological barriers can deprive you of your other fair use rights.