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Copyright warnings questioned

Aug. 2, 2007 at 2:36 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Computer and communications companies are complaining in Washington that multiple media companies are misrepresenting copyright laws to consumers.

The Computer and Communications Industry Association, which includes Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, complained to the Federal Trade Commission that the National Football League, Major League Baseball, NBC and Universal Studios, DreamWorks, Harcourt and Penguin Group put forth copyright warnings that represent a "systematic misrepresentation of consumers' rights to use legally acquired content," The New York Times reported Thursday.

The association said in the complaint to the Federal Trade Commission that the warnings may confuse consumers about their right to use copyrighted material.

"It is an attempt to convince Americans that they don't have rights that they do in fact have," said Ed Black, president and chief executive of the association. "This is part of the larger context of what should be and what are proper rules for copyright in an Internet age."

The association is asking the FTC to force the content providers to use more accurate copyright warnings and participate in programs designed to inform people of their rights.

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