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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 30, 2004

INDUCE Act (IICA) Monday Morning Roundup - 30 Aug 2004

Posted by Ernest Miller

The San Francisco Chronicle has a lengthy article about Hollywood's attacks on various technologies, including a lengthy bit on the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act (IICA, née INDUCE Act), as a followup to the Grokster decision (Reining in tech: Learning from the Napster case, the entertainment industry is trying to block new technology before it takes off). There is an interesting quote from Fritz Attaway, executive vice president for government relations for the MPAA

"If we can't ban bad behavior and we can't ban bad technology, what is it we're supposed to do, stand back and let people steal our product?'' Attaway said.
I thought Hollywood liked the technology, thought it was good technology that some devious companies abused?

UPDATE 1005 PT - Jason Schultz responds
Jason Schultz on Attaway (Fritz The Hack (political, that is)):

First, I'd hardly call suing over 4,000 individual file-sharers "stand[ing] back and let[ting] people steal our product." At $2,000 to $11,000 a pop, these suits have have a very real impact on the lives of the unlucky defendants.

Second, the quote reveals the MPAA approach to every problem: either pass laws to ban behavior or pass laws to ban technology. Innovation, ingenuity, competition -- those are for suckers. More laws and more lawsuits, that's the Hollywood way. Cut past the consumer and go straight to Congress. Oh well, at least they're finally being honest.

Late last week IT Business Canada published an anti-INDUCE Act op-ed by playwright Dave Webb, who fears pencils being put on Hatch's Hit List (Induce This!):

The pencil I used was a Dixon Ticonderoga 1388-2/HB. (Ah, how I love 2/HBs. All pencils should write so smoothly.) Came with about a dozen friends in a plainish box that in no way indicated this product could be a weapon of copyright infringement.
He also points out the hypocrisy of Sen. Orrin Hatch's protection of gun manufacturers from liability for the uses to which their weapons are put:
It is wrong -- counterproductive, dangerous and assinine -- to punish technology for crimes committed by people. As a Republican, I'm sure Mr. Hatch would agree, having given it a second thought. After all, didn't he introduce legislation in March 2000 to protect firearms manufacturers from lawsuits arising from crimes committed with their guns?

After all, technology doesn't pirate copyright material. People do.

The INDUCE Act Blawg has more (Technology doesn't commit infringement, people do!).

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. chris on September 1, 2004 01:01 AM writes...

Since radio appeared it has always been this way. Back in the 1920's(?) the RIAA were beside themselves that a new technology, the radio, could broadcast an album, freely. The people could listen to music on the radio and the record companies didn't profit beyond the initial purchase. How dare radio listeners/radio stations not pay for the music that was broadcasted over the radio! So in comes the lobbying, wheeling and dealing, stamping albums with "not for radio broadcast" etc. So now we have royalties.

Dave Webb has it right, Induce is absurd.

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