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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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« Will Real's DRM Strategy Succeed? Signs Point to "No" | Main | The Presidential Election, Copyright, INDUCE Act (IICA) and Tech Policy »

August 02, 2004

Higher Education Groups Oppose INDUCE Act (IICA)

Posted by Ernest Miller

The Daily Texan reports that the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act (IICA, née INDUCE Act) has raised the ire of several higher education organizations (Bill proposed to strengthen copyright laws). The article also has a bizarre quote from one of Sen. Orrin Hatch's spokespeople:

Tapia did not comment on the specific concerns voiced by the higher-education groups, but did say the bill will only target bad behavior that is already illegal.
Ummm, if these acts are already illegal why do we need a new law? And when will the Senator comment on the many and detailed criticisms of his bill?

The main (and more important) point of the article is that the American Council on Education, Association of American Universities and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges sent a letter to Sen. Hatch opposing the INDUCE Act. Read the 2-page letter here: Letter to Sen. Hatch, July 22, 2004 [PDF].

[W]e are concerned that the broad concepts of “aiding,” “abetting,” or “inducing,” and the uncertain standard of imputed intent, will increase the risk that colleges and universities will face claims of infringement when they develop and provide to students and faculties high-speed computer networks and beneficial new applications that will dramatically enrich educational programs, open new possibilities in the conduct of research, facilitate research collaboration, and enhance communication of research results. These new risks threaten to chill educational innovation and the advancement of knowledge. Indeed, some of the opportunities in distance education made possible by the TEACH Act, which owes its existence in large measure to your support, could be constrained by S. 2560 as currently constructed.
The letter acknowledges and supports the ostensible purpose of the bill (reducing copyright infringement), but rightly argues that the current bill is overbroad.

In other INDUCE Act news:

The INDUCE Act Blawg has a couple of interesting posts. The first deals with the meta-free speech issues involved in stifling technology (Free Speech Implications of INDUCE). I discussed some of the direct impacts on free speech here: INDUCE Act is Free Speech Killer. The other article deals with the debate over Chicken Little and the SavetheiPod campaign (In defense of 'Chicken Little'. My previous contributions to this debate here: Are the Opponents of the INDUCE Act (IICA) Claiming that the Sky is Falling? and INDUCE Act (IICA) Press Roundup - 29 July 2004.

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 (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: INDUCE Act


1. Crosbie Fitch on August 3, 2004 09:45 AM writes...

1) Let the INDUCE act pass.
2) Tolerate a couple of years of madness with the US being set back a couple of decades - universities removing computer facilities from its students, prohibition of all unlicensed gadgets, etc.
3) Uprising. Something must be done!
4) Copyright is abolished.
5) Peace & harmony.

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