A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee has stripped out a provision in a copyright enforcement bill that would have increased fines for compilation CDs containing pirated music by 10 times or more.
Critics of theoriginal versionof the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (PRO IP) Act had complained that one provision would assess fines for each separate copyright work on a compilation work such as a CD, meaning the fines for a 10-song compilation CD would range from US$7,500 to $1.5 million, instead of the current $750 to $150,000. But the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property voted on Thursday to approve an amendment that stripped out the controversial provision.
The compilation provision in the original bill raised too many questions, said Representative Howard Berman, a California Democrat and subcommittee chairman. Lawmakers need "more time to identify the appropriate legislative solution," he said during a hearing to amend the bill.
Several lawmakers, including Representative Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat representing part of Silicon Valley in California, praised sponsors of the bill for removing the compilation provision. "I was concerned that [the compilation provision] would stifle innovation by exposing American business to uncertain, and potentially crushing, liability," she said.