The Obsessively Annotated Introduction to the INDUCE Act
In introducing the bill, Hatch provided extensive justifications and arguments on behalf of the bill. Eight pages worth: Before the United States Senate on Introduction of the “Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004” S. 2560 [PDF]. Since it looks like this bill will move quickly in Congress, opponents will have to get up to speed quickly. Thankfully, Hatch provided an excellent guide to the talking points proponents will use. Consequently, I’ve decided to go through Hatch’s introduction and extensively annotate it. However, this is just a response piece and many arguments against the bill won’t be here. The annotation is long, but I think there are definitely some valuable nuggets of information, such as, towards the end, Hatch makes clear he wants criminal enforcement of the Act.
My comments are in brackets, bold and italics. I’ve added hyperlinks to Hatch’s text as I thought useful.
My recommendation: Read it. All of it. Now. Then suggest it to someone else.
And he explains why in two good postings: Things That Bother Me, Vol. 1 and Things That Bother Me, Vol. 2. The first is about Sen Hatch’s misuse of some Berkman Center materials in support of his IICA; the second is about why keeping Betamax as doctrine in this area is so important
[T]he point makes some sense: it is silly that we let Morpheus get a free ride while Napster had to be shut down. Unlike Hatch, however, I certainly don’t think that this inconsistency demands a rule such that that Morpheus is also liable. Indeed, I think we can still leave Napster liable while avoiding the “tech mandate”/tech ban problem. To create a more consistent and beneficial doctrine, we should tweak – but not eviscerate – the Napster decision.
Interpreted broadly, Sony stands for the principle that we should let new technology develop completely unconstrained from secondary liability. As I have discussed elsewhere, I think Sony rule should actually be interpreted a little narrower. Sony stands for not using secondary liability to force tool-makers to modify how their tools operate, but secondary liabilty could apply to the tool-maker’s conduct in relation to the tool-user.
[…] [W]hat change would not affect non-infringing uses, definitively? We don’t know, and no weighing can properly take into account these undefined and thus indeterminately impacted uses. Sony understood this point – that by constraining the way a tool functioned, we risked impairing legitimate uses. The VCR ushered in “time-shifting,” a use that most people probably did not conceive of prior; it, and other technologies, could also usher in other untold uses, which would have been impacted by any change to the tools themselves. Telling Napster to respond to notices of infringement is consistent with this rule as well as with a rule that forces Morpheus to do nothing. One could sever Napster’s infringing uses from the non-infringing uses, known or not; by addressing their conduct only, new uses of the technology could continue to evolve. In so doing, we could get rid of the de facto “tech mandate” that effectively bans centralized P2P and thus no longer “reward inefficiency.”
It’s going to be interesting to see how they expect to collect this tax: Florida to Tax Home Networks
Florida state officials are considering taxing home networks that have more than one computer, under a modified 1985 state law that was intended to tax the few businesses that used internal communication networks instead of the local telephone company.
[…] “According to my accountant, the way the law is written, if my tax filing includes deductions for the repair or maintenance of my two computer and one printer network, those costs will be subject to state communication taxes,” said graphic artist Linda Kellman, who works from home. “Self-employed people get slammed with insane taxes everywhere, and I’ve sadly but grudgingly accepted that. But this tax, if they ever try to collect it, would be the last straw. Can I outsource my network to a more sensible state, do you think?”
[…] “All my life, I’ve willingly paid my fair share of taxes in exchange for community services,” said 73-year-old George Fedoro, a retired engineer who now lives in Boca Raton. “But this tax is not fair and could turn senior citizens into criminals, because no one that I know can or will pay it.”
Microsoft Tells Court It Won’t Be a Rival to Oracle
A top executive of the Microsoft Corporation testified on Wednesday that the company has no plans to compete in the enterprise software market, bolstering the government’s case that the market is far less competitive than Oracle contends.
Amazing how often I get to mention Theodoric of York in this weblog!
Update: I just got an email pointing out that this search on "enterprise" and "solutions" within the microsoft.com domain yields over 30,000 hits. ("enterprise solutions" yields about 2000) Seems like lots of people at Microsoft are wasting their time putting together website information on a market niche within which they have no plans to compete — maybe someone should tell the board?
The day after Sen Hatch’s effort to wipe out Grokster hit the Senate floor, there was a hearing before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation, The Future of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Technology. The testimony is now online. There also is a webcast. The participants:
In the face of the IICA/INDUCE Aet, the FTC testimony is particularly notable,
Glad to see this story getting ink outside of Salon. What is this about, anyway? A Crowning at the Capital Creates a Stir
[N]ews that the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the eccentric and exceedingly wealthy Korean-born businessman, donned a crown in a Senate office building and declared himself the Messiah while members of Congress watched is causing a bit of a stir.
[…] To hold the event in the Dirksen building, the organization was required to find a senator to act as a sponsor. But the identity of the sponsor remained a secret on Wednesday; the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, which approved the request, would not release the name.
Push to Allow DVDs to Be ‘Sanitized’ Alarms Studios
A House bill now gaining momentum would make it so that sanitizing films do not violate federal copyright law as long as the edited copies are restricted to home use, as opposed to being shown in theaters. DVDs are sanitized through filters that can remove any kind of material regarded as offensive — profanity, nudity or violence, for example.
[…] The legislation was introduced in response to a fight being waged in federal court in Colorado by the studios, the Directors Guild of America and 16 prominent directors against ClearPlay Inc., a Utah company that sells filtering software and DVD players with special filtering features built in.
Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Assn. of America, told a congressional committee last week that such editing without the input of the directors and studios “disfigures the original vision of the creator.”
From Eschaton: Clinton on the Press
From his book:
I was genuinely confused by the mainstream press coverage of Whitewater…One day, after one of our budget meetings in October, I asked Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming to stay a moment to talk. Simpson was a conservative Republican, but we had a pretty good relationship because of the friendship we had in common with his governor, Mike Sullivan. I asked Alan if he thought Hillary and I had done anything wrong in Whitewater. ‘Of course not,’ he said. ‘That’s not what this is about. This is about making the public think you did something wrong. Anybody who looked at the evidence would see that you didn’t.’ Simpson laughed at how willing the ‘elitist’ press was to swallow anything negative about small, rural places like Wyoming or Arkansas and made an interesting observation: ‘You know, before you were elected, we Republicans believed the press was liberal. Now we have a more sophisticated view. They are liberal in a way. Most of them voted for you, but they think more like your right-wing critics do, and that’s much more important.’ When I asked him to explain, he said, ‘Democrats like you and Sullivan get into government to help people. The right-wing extremists don’t think government can do much to improve on human nature, but they like power. So does the press. And since you’re President, they both get power the same way, by hurting you.’ I appreciated Simpson’s candor and I thought about what he said for months. For a long time, whenever I was angry about the Whitewater press coverage I would tell people about Simpson’s analysis. When I finally just accepted his insight as accurate, it was liberating, and it cleared my head for the fight.
From the Congressional Record: Sen. Frist’s statement on the introduction of S.2560
from S7193, Congressional Record
Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, I rise in support of the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004 introduced today by Senators HATCH and LEAHY. I am proud to be an original cosponsor. The Inducement Act addresses the growing problem of online piracy–the illegal downloading of copyrighted music. Piracy is devastating the music community and threatening other forms of copyrighted work. This commonsense, bipartisan legislation takes important steps in protecting our Nation’s intellectual property.
When I return home to Nashville and drive down Music Row, my heart sinks as I see the “For Sale” and “For Rent” signs everywhere. The once vibrant music community is being decimated by online piracy. No one is spared. It is hitting artists, writers, record companies, performing rights organizations, and publishers.
Hmmm — so now P2P-based copyright infringement is responsible for the state of the real estate market in Nashville’s Music Row? Really?