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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 @

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July 07, 2004

Lessig on Hollaar's "Sony Revisited" and the INDUCE Act (IICA)

Posted by Ernest Miller

Cyberlaw Prof Larry Lessig takes a look at some of the reasoning that seems to have informed those behind the Inducing Infringments of Copyright Act (IICA, née INDUCE Act) (continuing congressional confusion on copyrights (ie, not just (c), or (cc), or even (ccc) but (cccc))). He points to a recent paper (Sony Revisited [PDF]) from Lee Hollaar, Computer Science Professor with the Univ. of Utah. From the introduction of the paper:

Today, tens of millions of people participate in peer-to-peer systems like Kazaa, with most users “sharing” not their own material, but more likely music whose copyrights are owned by others. Whether such activities hurt the copyright owners by being a substitute for legitimate sales and license fees, or help by sparking interest in a new work, is not the question here. The Constitution and the copyright statutes give a copyright owner the exclusive right to the protected work during the limited duration of the copyright, and therefore the right to determine the business model for its distribution to the public. [footnotes omitted]
Lessig briefly addresses Hollaar's arguments, but really pushes the point that Sony enshrines the separation of powers, that,
This is not an opinion about copyright law alone. It is an opinion about separation of powers — about which branch is best able to do the necessary balancing that copyright law demands, “within the limits of the constitutional grant.” Sony says, in effect, when a technology is not simply a technology for violating the law, then it is left to Congress to decide whether and how that technology is to be regulated. Congress, not the courts. [link in original]
My perspective on Hollaar's paper when I've had a chance to go through it.

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Copyright | File Sharing | INDUCE Act


1. Branko Collin on July 9, 2004 12:08 AM writes...

The "protected work"? Works aren't protected by copyright, they are destroyed by it. Copyright protects authors.

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