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State Of Industry, Copy Protection Noted By Shapiro At CEO Summit

Unlike other industries over the past year, consumer electronics has performed well since the economic downturn and Sept. 11 attacks, according to CEA president Gary Shapiro, in remarks during the CEA CEO Summit, here.

“Since our last CEA CEO Summit [last spring] the world has obviously changed,” Shapiro said. “Our industry has performed well, especially after Sept. 11.” Value was among the positives that have helped the industry he said. “We benefit from providing strong product value. We provide entertainment … for pennies an hour.”

Still Shapiro told his audience that challenges remain, especially changes involving copy protection and fair use home recording. He said, if pending legislation is approved by Congress, it will “straight-jacket” the consumer electronics industry. Commenting on current copyright laws, he added, “One hundred-year copyrights are not limited terms. Under the Constitution copyrights were to be granted for [a] limited [time].”

He noted that unless copyright and copy protection laws are passed to recognize the capabilities of products that are available now and will be developed in the future, “New technology will be strangled.”

The immediate challenge, he said, is to make Congress and consumers more knowledgeable about consumer electronics.