Induce or Don't Induce?


The software industry has come up with an alternative to the absurdly broad Induce Act. It's called (don't you just love this law-naming creativity?) the Don't Induce Act. It sounds a lot better than the original bill:

The Don't Induce Act describes three requirements that would have to be met before a software distributor could be found liable: The "predominant" use of the program would have to be the mass, indiscriminate infringing redistribution of copyrighted works; the "commercial viability of the computer program" would have to be dependent on revenue derived from piracy; and the software distributor would have to have "undertaken conscious, recurring, persistent and deliberate acts" to encourage copyright infringement.

The proposal would also indemnify venture capital firms, payment services, financial services, Internet service providers, librarians and e-mail utilities. If the measure becomes law, anyone filing a "baseless lawsuit" under the Don't Induce Act could be heavily sanctioned with damages that are triple what would normally be levied.

Because the measure would only apply only to "commercial" activities, the proposal would not target free or open-source P2P clients.

But it still would be a shift in the law from "ban the infringing action" to "ban the technology". And of course it's facing heavy opposition from the entertainment companies that support the stronger version.