June 24, 2004 | By Donna Wentworth

Taking the Induce Act to its Illogical Conclusion

What would the world look like under Senator Orrin Hatch's (R-UT) Inducing Infringements of Copyright Act (PDF)? To give you a glimpse, we drafted a mock legal complaint (PDF) against Apple for "inducing" copyright infringement by manufacturing the iPod, CNET for reviewing the iPod, and Toshiba for providing hard drives for the iPod.

As we note in Prelude to a Fake Complaint, filing a lawsuit under the so-called Induce Act is like dropping a litigation bomb on any company that gives users products that have even the slightest potential to assist in copyright infringement. If this bill had been law in 1984, there would be no VCR. If this bill had been law in 1995, there would be no CD burners. If this bill had been law in 2000, there would be no iPod. If this bill becomes law in 2004, there's no telling what we'll be missing.

While the mock complaint is fake, the threat that this bill poses is real. If you care about innovation -- not to mention free speech -- take a few minutes to visit EFF's Action Center and let your Senators know that the Induce Act is a very bad idea.


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