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July 21, 2004
Fmr Intel VP and CEI Oppose INDUCE Act (IICA)
Two significant editorials against the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act (IICA, née INDUCE Act) were published today. Ed Felten points to a Wall Street Journal op-ed (alas, behind a subscription wall) by former Intel VP Les Vadasz (Vadasz Attacks INDUCE Act):
Sen. Hatch and others argue that the bill will protect kids from porn and punish those who "intentionally induce" piracy. In reality it will do neither. But it will do serious harm to innovation.Arnold Kling
also points to this op-ed and asks, "What would be the social costs and benefits of Microsoft, Intel, or Google taking over one or more of the large music publishers (Technology Innovation vs. Government, July 21, 2004
)?" He also provides the following quote from Vadasz' essay:
The more we attempt to provide government protection to the old ways of doing business, the less motivation we provide to the entertainment industry to adapt and benefit from new technology. ...
Most importantly, what we need are legislators who can curb their urge to legislate in areas where their actions are likely to do more harm than good.
The other piece comes from the Competitive Enterprise Institute
. George Pieler, attorney and former Deputy Counsel to Sen. Bob Dole, has penned a 4-page attack on the bill (Send Me No Files: Senate INDUCEs a Threat to the Future of Information Technology [PDF]
The INDUCE Acts supporters claim they are just aiming at bad actorsflagrant facilitators of copyright offenses, mainly in the area of P2P sharing of music and video files. If so, they went to the wrong lawyer to draft the bill. This bill may be directed at infringement P2P file downloads, but it is far more sweeping. S. 2560 creates a new cause of action that would strike at any technologynew or old that might be used in a manner unapproved by the copyright holder....
Indeed, the sweeping new legal concept behind INDUCE would establish a de facto permitting process for any business or technology that enables transmission or copying of copyrightable material. The potential for inducement would have to be weighed before the introduction of a new technology or device. Government standards would likely define inducement and require a sort of inducement impact statement. In essence this constitutes a precautionary principle for technology, such that no new technology or product can be marketed until it can be proven, in advance, that it will never do harm to anyone anywhere (a virtual impossibility since one cannot prove a negative). The chilling effect on the American economy would be substantial. [italics in original]
Indeed. Read the whole thing.
Want to know more about the INDUCE Act?
Please see LawMeme's well-organized index to everything I've written on the topic: The LawMeme Reader's Guide to Ernie Miller's Guide to the INDUCE Act.
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