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Wednesday, August 5, 1998 Published at 16:51 GMT 17:51 UK


Education could duck Net copyright law

The move in Congress should benefit students and library users

Attempts to prevent US schools and libraries from falling foul of new Internet copyright laws have won support in Congress.

The House of Representatives has approved a "fair use" amendment for the non-commercial use of copyrighted works.

Earlier versions of the legislation would have outlawed any circumvention of security measures put in place by publishers to protect their works in electronic form.

Schools and libraries had feared that this would stop them copying works for educational purposes.

They said the safeguards could be used to create pay-per-use works that could no longer be lent free to students and library users.

The House amendment which is designed prevent this from happening has the support of Hollywood studios, music and book publishers and the software industry.

The Senate, which has passed its own version of the Internet copyright legislation, will have to review the House changes when it returns from its summer recess in September.

The Business Software Alliance applauded the House action, saying it would help electronic commerce continue to grow by assuring software developers and other inventors that their work would be protected on the Internet.

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