Home > The Importance of...
About this Author
Ernest Miller Ernest Miller pursues research and writing on cyberlaw, intellectual property, and First Amendment issues. Mr. Miller attended the U.S. Naval Academy before attending Yale Law School, where he was president and co-founder of the Law and Technology Society, and founded the technology law and policy news site LawMeme. He is a fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Ernest Miller's blog postings can also be found @

Listen to the weekly audio edition on IT Conversations:
The Importance Of ... Law and IT.

Feel free to contact me about articles, websites and etc. you think I may find of interest. I'm also available for consulting work and speaking engagements. Email: ernest.miller 8T gmail.com

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More

freedom_sake_md_2.PNG Balkinization
Cairns Blog: Beth Noveck
Copyfighter's Musings
Copyright Blog
Chris Cohen
Dan Gillmor's eJournal
Displacement of Concepts
DTM :<|
Freedom to Tinker
GigaLaw.com News
Internet Law Program Blog
Joe Gratz
Law School Discussion
Lessig Blog
Matt Rolls a Hoover
David Opterbeck
Susan Crawford Blog
Unlimited Freedom
< A Legally Inclined Weblog >

› Jonna Hicks on
Salsa Verde

› Miles Cleveland on
Kitchen Academy - Course II - Day 16

› Keagan Sousa on
Kitchen Academy - Course I - Day 14

› Jordan Reichert on
Kitchen Academy - Course I - Day 18

› Keagan Sousa on
Kitchen Academy - Course I - Day 14

› Derek Sullivan on
Kitchen Academy - Course II - Day 7

Recent Trackbacks
› jeu casino gratuit:
jeu casino gratuit

› casino en francais:
casino en francais

› Internet and Information Technology Security - eLamb:
To Dan Glickman

› Blogs - Steven Shelton's Blog - GLOAMING.us:
Federal Judges: More Intelligent than Creationists

› The world according to SComps:
Penna going to hell! Robertson confirms it.

› Blog For mis111, Section 1, Group 080:
Coca Cola Threatens Photographer With Lawsuit

Subscribe with Bloglines

Creative Commons License
All text in this web log is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

The Importance of...

July 19, 2004
Hatch's Hit List #7 - VoIPEmail This EntryPrint This Entry
Posted by Ernest Miller

What is Hatch's Hit List? Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has introduced the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act (IICA, née INDUCE Act) in the Senate. The bill would make it illegal to "intentionally induce" copyright infringement, but is worded so broadly that it would have all sorts of unintended consequences, one of which is to severely limit, cripple or kill innovation in many different fields. Hatch's Hit List is a daily exploration of some of the technologies and fields that the bill would likely affect. See also, Introducing Hatch's Hit List and the Hatch's Hit List Archives.

Today on Hatch's Hit List: VoIP

Voice over IP is probably one of the most interesting developing technologies, and perhaps one of the most revolutionary ones. It is fascinating for many reasons. Even as Congress, the FCC, various state utility commissions, the courts and others battle over how VoIP is to be regulated, if at all, entrepreneurs and hackers are developing new ways of utilizing VoIP. These innovators are changing the ways we can interact with the humble telephone and the results will likely reverberate in our society in ways we can hardly imagine.

One trivial example: I've been using Vonage for nearly two years now. One of the nice things it does is provide me an email notification of voicemail. One option for that email notification is that I can have the actual recording sent to my email:

Voicemail Attachments With Email can be a very powerful tool. When you activate Voicemail Attachments With Email, we copy your new phone messages as .wav files. Then we attach these files to your email notification messages. Turn this feature on and you can play back your messages through your PC without even accessing your voicemail system. You also forward your voice messages to anyone else via email or save them to your hard drive. It's another great way that Vonage puts you in control.
Indeed. Such capabilities will soon become common place. There are even interesting variations. Some have reported that Vonage has dropped voice messages into their voicemail box without actually placing a call. This could be very useful. Why not have a "voicemail" list that would allow someone to send one message to multiple phone numbers? Or why have to call, when you can send an audio file straight to someone's voicemail, which they might then download instead of listen to via phone, or both.

Which, of course, brings us back to the INDUCE Act. Inevitably, some of these developing and interesting uses for VoIP are going to lead to copyright infringement. Why is the attached .wav file necessarily a phone call? VoIP is so cheap in many cases, why not use it as a streaming radio station (which might merely be a form of conference call)? All these interesting and innovative uses will likely make our telephones even more useful than before. However, how much innovation will Hollywood permit in the development of unique VoIP applications if the INDUCE Act passes?

VoIP is already facing numerous regulatory challenges. Do we really want to add Hollywood to the regulatory hurdles VoIP must surmount?

Want to know more about the INDUCE Act?
Please see LawMeme's well-organized index to everything I've written on the topic, including Hatch's Hit List: The LawMeme Reader's Guide to Ernie Miller's Guide to the INDUCE Act.


There are no comments posted yet for this entry.

TrackBack URL: http://www.corante.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-pcorso.cgi/3611
Sen. Hatch's Shifting Rhetoric in Favor of the INDUCE Act (IICA) from The Importance of... Last June, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) put forward the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act (IICA, née INDUCE Act). He introduced the bill with a long and somewhat strange statement, which I responded to in detail: The Obsessively Annotated Introduction... [Read More]

Tracked on July 23, 2004 05:22 PM





Remember personal info?

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):