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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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August 25, 2004

Hatch's Hit List #34 - Instapundit

Posted by Ernest Miller

What is Hatch's Hit List? Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has introduced the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act (IICA, née INDUCE Act) in the Senate. The bill would make it illegal to "intentionally induce" copyright infringement, but is worded so broadly that it would have all sorts of unintended consequences, one of which is to severely limit, cripple or kill innovation in many different fields. Hatch's Hit List is a daily exploration of some of the technologies and fields that the bill would likely affect. See also, Introducing Hatch's Hit List and the Hatch's Hit List Archives. Send list suggestions to ernest.miller 8T

Today on Hatch's Hit List: Instapundit

News flash: Sen. John Kerry is running for president. Shortly after he returned from military service in Vietnam he co-authored a book called The New Soldier. However, the book is out of print and, reportedly, Kerry won't allow a new edition to be published to take advantage of all the interest in the book raised by his candidacy.

Nevertheless, someone has put the book online, in clear violation of the copyright: John Kerry's New Soldier

Just after JOHN KERRY came back from Vietnam, he wrote the book THE NEW SOLDIER.

The book is out of print. John Kerry does not allow the publisher to reprint it.

To make a rational decision on November 2, you need to have all available facts.

You can now read John Kerry's THE NEW SOLDIER online for FREE.

Clearly, this website is guilty of direct copyright infringement and (AAARGH) I could not resist the temptation to read portions of the infringing work.

I blame Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit. He is the one who induced me to visit the infringing site through a link of his: There Was Lots of Talk. I probably never would have visited and infringed copyright had it not been for Reynolds' link.

He is a law professor familiar with copyright law, so he should know better, but it turns out he is not a fan of current copyright law. Among other actions and writings: he has hosted infamous anti-copyright law professor Larry Lessig as a guest-blogger; he has made outrageous claims that free downloads don't necessarily hurt copyright owners (RIAA Take Note); he has questioned the efforts of universities to protect copyright owners (Some Good Questions); and, he has said he is fine with a ridiculously short copyright term of fourteen years, renewable once (The Economist). Clearly, Reynolds is no fan of copyright.

Furthermore, he doesn't seem very enthusiastic about John Kerry (too many posts to mention).

Clearly, by linking to the infringing site, Reynolds was encouraging more copyright infringement. He knew what would happen when he pointed his massive traffic to the infringing site. His actions are a paradigmatic case of intentional inducement.

Want to know more about the INDUCE Act?
Please see LawMeme's well-organized index to everything I've written on the topic, including Hatch's Hit List: The LawMeme Reader's Guide to Ernie Miller's Guide to the INDUCE Act.

Comments (8) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Hatch's Hit List | INDUCE Act


1. Branko Collin on August 26, 2004 01:31 AM writes...

You're inducing me now to read the illegal book. Clearly, any unqualified hyperlink linking to a link that links to ... well, you get the gist. The scary thing is that, IIRC, several courts already found this a form of inducement.

(There was one case in Belgium where linking to sites that linked to MP3s was already considered infringement, and I believe German courts have produced some real beauts regarding consumer protection laws.)

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2. Jim on August 26, 2004 05:11 PM writes...

You forgot to mention one thing -- Senator Hatch is an idiot.

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3. mojo on August 26, 2004 05:29 PM writes...

You also mis-attributed the Senator's political affiliation, it should be (R-RIAA)

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4. ViriiK on August 26, 2004 08:57 PM writes...

Look, I'm a Instapundit-reader and an LDS (Just like Hatch). Hatch can go screw himself over this since he doesn't believe in the Free-Agency concept. Forcing this action on us is like Satan forcing us to do the wrong thing. We know right from wrong and give me a break, artist have been losing money because they've been making crappy music period!

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5. Nick on August 26, 2004 10:39 PM writes...


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6. Ivan Lenin on August 26, 2004 11:14 PM writes...

Mr. Ernest Miller is bitching about InstaPundit providing a link that says bad things about the wonderful Mr. John Kerry. Boohoohoo. Copyright my ass, loser.
Clearly, Miller is no fan of common sense. But he attended Yale Law school, no less! which I guess gives him the licence to be a butthole and even get paid for it. I blame Ernest Miller's parents. A street punk has more class than this "intellectual"

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7. russ on August 26, 2004 11:17 PM writes...

Ahhh, it must be hell to be a liberal and or a member of the party of the SEDITIOUS & SLEAZY (a.k.a. the dim-witted Democrats) now a days...

Cowardly Kerry has shown to be a pathological liar but then again so was the last dim-witted Democrat that made a run for the Presidency and the one before that has the distinction of being impeached...

Can't you people ever get someone of relatively decent moral character?

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8. Ernest Miller on August 26, 2004 11:24 PM writes...

For those who don't get the sarcasm, this post is meant to show how easily a frivolous lawsuit could be brought under the INDUCE Act. I'm making fun of the proposed law by showing how it can be abused.

I'm a fan of Glenn Reynolds.

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