Induce This

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.

Ernest Miller points to a mock lawsuit (fake Apple complaint) drafted by EFF attorneys to show what a case against the iPod might look like under the Induce Act.

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).

Thanks mneptok.

Music: Black Sabbath :: Electric Funeral

5 Replies to “Induce This”

  1. I am begining to wonder if my unit could be included in the list of devices. I have used it thrice to duplicate patent protected genetics.

  2. Jim wrote: Estimated lifespan of this law in the Suprime Court? 5 minutes or so.

    That’s what many of us thought about McCain-Feingold — but we got it anyway.

    Does anyone else think “induce” in this context verges altogether too closely upon “thoughtcrime”?

  3. They really oughta go the whole hog, ban the recording of music, and then we’d all have to go back to listening to everything live, pulling out the washboard and teachest every evening for a family sing-along.

    Reminds me of an excellent book I read a long time ago, called the Recording Angel by (I think) Evan Isenberg. It talked at great length on the effects recording has had on music – like the fact that nowadays when we go to a concert, most people judge how well a song is played by how closely it corresponds to the recorded version. A hundred years ago, they’d have judged the recorded version by how close it came to the concert, and a few years before that *nobody would ever hear the exact same piece of music more than once*. Kinda hard concept to grasp that, for somebody who can’t get enough of sticking their favourite track on repeat play.

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