The Cato Institute will take a look at the Induce Act this week, Wednesday at 11 a.m. In question:
Copyright law has many complexities, including the issue of contributory liability for copyright infringement. The newly proposed Induce Act would hold peer-to-peer (P2P) providers and portable media device manufacturers liable for copyright infringement if they are found to have induced, aided, or abetted copyright violations by others. What impact would the Induce Act have on the Internet and consumer electronics market? What role should contributory liability play in the future of copyright law? How much responsibility do middlemen bear for policing their networks for "piracy"? And should technology manufacturers be held liable for acts of infringement committed with their devices?
The music industry argues that Induce and laws like it are necessary to protect property rights, while techies and downloaders fear the impact such rules will have on P2P technology. Here's a blog by techie lawyers devoted completely to the progress of Induce and legislation like it, in case you'd like to keep an eye on it. Heritage expert Norbert Michel addressed the new file-sharing dust-up, here.
Making copyrighted material instantly available to the world without the owner's permission is stealing. The challenge for policymakers is to curtail this theft of intellectual property without limiting legitimate activity or chilling technological innovation through regulation.
For now, Induce isn't going anywhere. Negotiations on the bill's language fell apart in early October.