Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Counseling Copyright Infringers May Be A Crime

from the that-doesn't-sound-good... dept

Senator Orrin Hatch clearly has some bizarre beliefs about copyright infringement. Exactly a year ago, he made his infamous suggestion that companies figure out a way to destroy the computers of anyone who infringes on copyrights. While that seemed a tad extreme to most folks, Hatch continues his crusade against the things like fair use and innovation. While it's not yet confirmed, the EFF is reporting that Hatch is set to introduce a new bill that would make it a crime to "induce" copyright infringement. That seems fairly broad and ridiculously dangerous. Even worse, the law also targets those who "counsel" infringers. Does this mean those who infringe on copyrights, even for fair use reasons, no longer have a right to legal representation? Update: More details including the apparent language of the bill and an excellent analysis by Ernest Miller about how ridiculous this whole thing is from the title of the proposed bill right through its intent.

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