It’s the Hollings Bill by other means — an over-reaching new form of indirect liability that will force technology companies of all kinds to “ask permission” before innovating for fear of ruinous litigation if they don’t.
And so another front in the copyright wars opens, with the aggressors waving the bloody flag of file sharing, but really aiming at a much bigger target.
INDUCE stands for “Inducement Devolves into Unlawful Child Exploitation Act of 2004”. Go ahead, read that again. Yeah, that’s right, copyright laws, and ultimately your rights to make use of media that you have legally purchased will be directly affected by a law meant to protect children from exploitation. By hiding the new restrictions in a child exploitation law, he can try to crush the opposition by painting anyone against the proposed changes as not wanting to protect children. Utterly despicable, though not surprising coming from a politician who has received substantial contributions from the TV/Movies/Music industry, and advocated the idea that media companies should have the right to destroy the computers of people downloading copyrighted media – while his very own Web site was using unlicensed software. Brilliant.
The Act (to be proposed tomorrow by songwriter Sen. Hatch and others) amends the copyright law to say that anyone who “induces” copyright infringement is himself/itself an infringer.
“Induce” means intentionally aids, abets, counsels, or procures. So you can’t even hire a lawyer if you’re doing something risky.
If we don’t put a stop to this now, your VCR may well be illegal in the near future. I am going to follow this issue and post more news as I find it. For now here are some other sites discussing the matter: