Time For The Don't Induce Act

from the you-wanted-help,-here's-some-help... dept

Since Orrin Hatch made it clear he feels the need to push through some sort of bill concerning file sharing, whether or not it’s actually needed, it looks like some consumer electronics and consumer rights groups have decided to take him up on his offer to help out. They apparently decided not to wait for the phone call from Marybeth Peters, who Hatch has asked to write a “compromise” bill, despite her announced intentions to make the bill even more stringent. Instead, they put together a proposed bill they find to be much more reasonable called the Don’t Induce Act. Basically, they set the legal bar much, much higher to prevent most of Hatch’s Hit List from being declared illegal. The proposal states that the only companies that should be liable are those where copyright infringement is the predominant use, the commercial basis of the program needs to be based directly on money derived from piracy, and the companies in question would have “undertaken conscious, recurring, persistent and deliberate acts” encouraging infringement. They also exempt investors, ISPs and email companies among others. Of course some, such as Cisco, point out that even this bill may go too far and create unintended consequences. Once again, it’s a situation where people are trying to ban a tool, rather than an action — and that’s always problematic. Of course, the entertainment industry isn’t happy at all. The MPAA immediately protested that this proposal is awful since it wouldn’t actually shut down file sharing networks. Maybe that’s because most people realize they have substantial non-infringing uses and shouldn’t be shut down — but that concept is obviously foreign to the entertainment industry.

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