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October 6, 2004
Meet the New Induce Proposal, Just as Bad as the Old Induce Proposal
Edward Felten and Derek Slater examine the latest draft (PDF) of the misguided Induce Act and deliver a one-two punch:
Felten: "This draft is narrower than previous ones, in that it tries to limit liability to products related 'peer-to-peer' infringement. Unfortunately, the definition of peer-to-peer is overbroad....By this definition, the Web is clearly a peer-to-peer system. Arguably, the Internet itself may be a peer-to-peer system as well."
Slater: "It could also apply to Windows networking, which allows sharing of folders over a network that certainly could be considered 'public.' Furthermore, it could apply to IM systems that allow people to send files. 'Locate and obtain' is in no way restricted to your typical search interface; consider an IM service with a chatroom called 'Share Music'(this is basically how sharing on IRC works, with bots that you can query). Even if you think they could successfully defend themselves, they could still be dragged through a money intensive lawsuit. And the boundaries of this definition will be continually pushed my new technologies.
Shall we go on?"
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