June 24, 2004 | By Fred von Lohmann

If Not Induce, then What?

While we at EFF have been critical of the overbreadth of the Induce Act, some have asked "what would you suggest that would target P2P while leaving things like the iPod intact?"

Answer: It's not a question of more laws, it's a question of new business models.

  • No amount of law (at least short of blowing up computers) is going to eliminate P2P file-sharing software. After all, legal victories against Napster, Scour, Aimster, and Audiogalaxy just spawned more, better, offshore alternatives. The Induce Act isn't going to scare P2P developers in the West Bank. It will be legitimate American innovators, like Apple, who pay the price for overbroad laws like the Induce Act.
  • History teaches that new business models work better than more laws when trying to reconcile copyright with new technologies. Compare the response to the VCR (let the free market find new business models) with the response to DAT recorders (pass a law that strangled the technology).
  • The music industry could, tomorrow, solve this problem by themselves, without more laws. As explained in our paper, A Better Way Forward, the music business could create one or more collecting societies and start giving blanket licenses to P2P users in exchange for low monthly payments, transforming a threat into an opportunity. Worked when ASCAP did it for broadcast radio.

So, if Congress wanted to do some good here, it should be considering ways to pave the path toward a collective licensing solution.


Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Privacy is a human right: Data retention violates that right | @AmerQuarterly https://eff.org/r.irnm

Aug 29 @ 11:12am

Court buys government's shell game blocking Klayman case plaintiffs from challenging NSA spying: https://eff.org/r.8hi0

Aug 29 @ 9:25am

How China is strong-arming coders to abandon their open source projects: https://eff.org/r.wso1

Aug 28 @ 4:20pm
JavaScript license information