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August 09, 2004
The Future of Music Coalition Against the INDUCE Act (IICA)
Creative Commons reports that the Future of Music Coalition has come out against the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act (IICA, née INDUCE Act) by means of a letter to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee (Musicians on the INDUCE act).
Read the FMC's letter on the INDUCE Act here: FMC Sends Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee on the INDUCE Act.
We would ask the committee to consider the concerns outlined in this letter before voting on legislation that not only impacts copyright owners, but also creators, technology companies and music fans. We urge the committee to push for solutions that preserve the unique architecture and networking capability of the internet yet allow creators, performers, and copyright owners to be compensated for their work. Finally, we remind the committee that musicians and artists are the engine of creation at the source of this debate and thus deserve to be represented as stakeholders at the policy table.
Read the FMC's analysis of the INDUCE Act here: The Need to Strike a Balance: INDUCE Act Attempts to Protect the Content and Attack the Technology.
If the INDUCE Act does not pass as is, it may hurt the creative industries. However, if the proposed legislation does pass in its current form, it has the potential to hurt not only the technology industries but also the entire U.S. economy, the effects of which could extend to all Americans. Yet the current debate should not be a question of choosing one industry over another. Ideally there should be a way to protect the content without severely compromising the technology, and any legislation passed that does not balance the competing interests will likely have very negative long-term effects. Holleymans five key points appear to be a good starting point to address this complicated issue.
Finally, in attempting to protect copyrighted materials, such groups should be mindful of the potential for illegal file sharing networks based outside of the United States. How will any U.S. legislation prevent consumers from accessing overseas sites to download pirated files? Copyright infringement is a global problem and U.S. legislation alone will likely not be the absolute solution. A comprehensive package containing effective legal relief, consumer education, licensing of content to peer-to-peer services, and an affordable, convenient distribution system that makes it easy to legally download files, as well as additional measures, may be necessary.
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