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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 29, 2004

INDUCE Act (IICA) Press Roundup - 29 July 2004

Posted by Ernest Miller

I'm not sure what triggered it, but there is a slew of coverage of the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act (IICA, née INDUCE Act) today.

Sen. Orrin Hatch's hometown newspaper, the Salt Lake Tribune runs an article that looks at the opposition to the INDUCE Act (Does Hatch have iPod, TiVo, Google and Legos in his sights?). The article even mentions Hatch's Hit List specifically.

The Lawrence Journal-World of Kansas has an interesting and wide-ranging column on modern copyright law (Laws regarding copying music need fine tuning). The article deals with INDUCE, click wrap licenses, the DMCA, and whether memorizing a song from the radio violates copyright. It is a fascinating expression of current copynorms.

The Wayne State South End provides a brief overview of the issues, focusing on the arguments made at the Judiciary hearing (Proposed legislation could make iPods illegal).

Ernie the Attorney totally disses the Save the iPod campaign (The INDUCE Act is not going to threaten my iPod)

Having said that [the INDUCE Act is overbroad], I'm also going to say that I'm not a fan of the whole 'chicken little' approach that some opponents of the INDUCE Act are taking. When you try to get people's attention by saying that the INDUCE Act threatens the iPod you just lose credibility. Instinctively, we all know in our gut that Apple's fabulously successful device, which is used by all kinds of celebrities and musicians, is not going to be subjected to restrictions based on the INDUCE Act. Oh, sure, one could argue about the theoretical lawsuit that could be filed to limit use or sale of the iPod, but who is really going to bring that lawsuit? The record companies? After most of them have cut deals to sell music through iTunes Music Store? No, I don't see it.

The reality is that the INDUCE Act, if it is passed, might perhaps threaten some innovation and may even lead to some stupid lawsuits. But it isn't going to threaten the iPod, and people who make that argument are engaging in foolish demagoguery. Which proves that 'foolish demagoguery' isn't the exclusive province of companies that are threatened by new technologies. [italics in original]

I warned that this argument would be made (Are the Opponents of the INDUCE Act (IICA) Claiming that the Sky is Falling?). I do think it is valuable to discuss the theoretical merits of a lawsuit against the iPod, but opponents of the INDUCE Act shouldn't claim that a lawsuit against Apple is likely. However, we should always keep in mind, in regard to proposed legislation, Lyndon B. Johnson's famous aphorism:
You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered.

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.

Comments (3) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: INDUCE Act


1. PrivacyHound on July 29, 2004 06:38 PM writes...

But the INDUCE act would make iPods illegal. I don't know if that is the best marketing angle but it is a fact. It would also ban photocopiers in libraries, and, of course, the entire internet.

Come to think of it, the INDUCE act would ban the sale of *musical instruments* since they are used to play copyrighted works and most people don't pay the required public performance royalties!

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2. PrivacyHound on July 29, 2004 08:11 PM writes...

I should point out that Apple's response to INDUCE would simply be simply to lock it down so that it only worked with iTunes Music from Apple. No more mp3s from your own CDs or other music stores.

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3. Chris Rush Cohen on July 29, 2004 08:20 PM writes...

If the iPod only worked with music downloaded from iTunes it certainly wouldn't need such a huge harddrive, it's sales would plummet, and that DRM would be cracked withni days of it's release anyway.

My reaction to the 'Chicken Little' accusations are posted on the INDUCE Act blog ('In Response to Chicken Little') -

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