If passed, the Induce Act would make it possible to sue anyone who makes a device that can arguably be used to “induce” a consumer to infringe copyright. That, by many people’s reckoning, would apply to DVD burners, iPods, copy machines, word processors, and even the pencil.
Before the introduction of portable digital music players, the value of the music files derived from infringing sources was limited by the fact that computer users generally had to be sitting at their computers in order to play and enjoy them. Defendant Apple knew this and hence made the calculated decision to intentionally induce and enhance the attractiveness of infringement by providing these infringers with a device to enhance the rewards of their illegal labors – the iPod.
Good discussion following Miller’s post. But Brad Hutchings note that the RIAA has actually endorsed Apple’s FairPlay DRM model is beside the point — open this door and The Man gets an opportunity to block any manner of innovative technology equally capable of respecting or breaking the law (the crowbar and spraypaint also come to mind as examples of technologies that have both legal and illegal applications).