Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004
There's been a lot of noise today about some pending legislation that wants to sting the digital pirates of the world by making it a crime to simply "induce" piracy. Even worse, this legislation may just slide past Congress without any significant exploration of the consequences. It moved me enough to write to a Senator:
Dear Senator Hatch:
I urge you to withdraw your support of the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004. By making it a crime to "induce" any infringement of copyright law this legislation will stifle future innovation and further erode our fair use rights.
This act would criminalize many existing devices that have legitimate, non-infringing uses. Plus, it will have the added consequence of limiting technological innovation since developers will have to work with copyright holders to ensure future devices do not have unacceptable infringing uses.
Not every temptation is a crime. Not every citizen is a criminal.
Read on: Lessig | Gillmor | Miller
EDIT: Boing Boing points us all to the EFF and their thoughts on what the future may hold if this legislation goes through. Creepy.