Induce Act Compromise Plan To Be Written By Those Who Think Its Too Weak

from the the-government-at-work dept

Back when Senator Hatch held his hearing about the Induce Act, he said he wanted to work with those who had concerns about the bill to come up with a compromise. Of course, what he actually was saying was that they were going to shove this bill through, no matter what, and so rather than pointing out that it wasn’t needed at all, he expected everyone to get in line. If they had complaints, they should be focused on how to change the bill, not questioning why it was needed at all. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Hatch and other Senators have turned the “compromise” process over to the the Register of Copyrights, Marybeth Peters, whose testimony suggested that, rather than compromise, she favored making the bill even more stringent, and doing away with the Betamax precedent altogether. In Peters’ world, it appears, there are no legitimate uses of technology other than what Hollywood says the technology should be used for. As Ernest Miller points out: “Asking Marybeth Peters to play a leadership role with regard to legislative changes to copyright law is like asking Dr. Jack Kevorkian to play a leadership role with regard to legislative changes to euthanasia law.” It becomes clear that it’s not about “compromise” at all, but pushing through a specific point of view. Peters was the only person at the hearings (out of four) who thought the law made real sense. Even the BSA representative, who had initially supported the law had been convinced to back down. So, why does the one supporter get control? Because it’s clear that Hatch isn’t trying to really fix a problem, but he’s going to do whatever possible to get this law passed — good or bad.

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