Business Software Alliance (BSA), Computer Systems Policy Project (CSPP), and Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Agreement on Digital Content.
Date: January 14, 2003.
Sources: CSPP and RIAA.

CSPP/BSA/RIAA Policy Principles on Digital Content

Rapidly changing technology presents important new opportunities for distributing content and expanding consumer choice, but also pose new and difficult threats of piracy to the recording, software and technology industries.

Never has there been a greater need for dialogue and collaboration to determine how best to respond to these opportunities and challenges.  Public policy battles in the Congress and the media in recent years require inter-industry constructive dialogue, and concerted efforts to develop consensus approaches.

The undersigned organizations have therefore agreed upon a core set of principles that will govern our activities in the public and policy arenas during the 108th Congress.  These principles are:

1.  Public Awareness.  Technology and record companies should jointly encourage and promote consumer awareness campaigns about the rights and wrongs of Internet use and digital copying.  Such campaigns should be funded privately, but joint approaches to Congress for a federal role should also be considered.

2.  Consumer Expectations.  Technology and record companies agree that meeting the needs and expectations of our customers is critically important to the viability of our industries.  Consumers are eager to enjoy new music and new technologies and record and technology companies are already addressing those needs.  How companies satisfy consumer expectations is a business decision that should be driven by the dynamics of the marketplace, and should not be legislated or regulated.

3.  Enforcement.  Technology and record companies support private and governmental enforcement actions against infringers.

4.  Technical Protection Measures.  Technology and record companies have collaborated to develop, are using, and support the use of unilateral technical protection measures that limit unauthorized access, copying or redistribution of products without government-imposed requirements for the incorporation of specific functionality in a computer or other device.  Legislation should not limit the use or effectiveness of such measures.  Technology and record companies agree that product labeling should endeavor to clearly inform consumers of the playability of content on devices they might own or use.

5.  Actions by Rightholders.  Technology and record companies support technical measures to limit illegal distribution of copyrighted works, subject to requirements that the measures be designed to be reasonable, are not destructive to networks, individual users’ data or equipment, and do not violate individuals’ legal rights to privacy or similar legally protected interests of individuals.

6.  Mandates.  Technology and record companies believe that technical protection measures dictated by the government (legislation or regulations mandating how these technologies should be designed, function and deployed, and what devices must do to respond to them) are not practical.  The imposition of technical mandates is not the best way to serve the long-term interests of record companies, technology companies, and consumers.  Technology can play an important role in providing safeguards against theft and piracy.  The role of government, if needed at all, should be limited to enforcing compliance with voluntarily developed functional specifications reflecting consensus among affected interests.  If government pursues the imposition of technical mandates, technology and record companies may act to ensure such rules neither prejudice nor ignore their interests.

7.  Improved Public Dialogue.  Technology and record companies agree to engage in constructive dialogue and look for common ground in policy debates.

The member companies of the BSA include: Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Avid, Bentley Systems, Borland, Cisco Systems, CNC/Mastercam, Dell, Entrust, HP, IBM, Intel, Internet Security Systems, Intuit, Macromedia, Microsoft, Network Associates, Novell, PeopleSoft, SeeBeyond, Sybase, and Symantec.  The member companies of CSPP include: Dell Computer Corporation, Intel Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Company, Motorola Corporation, NCR Corporation, IBM Corporation, EMC Corporation, and Unisys Corporation. The member companies of the RIAA include: BMG, EMI Recorded Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group.