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January 19, 2005
A New Kind of Induce Act
Jason Schultz @ Deep Links, responding to the news that California senator Kevin Murray has introduced an Induce Act-like bill before the state's legislature:
The bill, introduced in the Senate last week, would make a criminal of anyone who sells or distributes software that allows users to transmit files over a network, if the seller/distributor fails to exercise "reasonable care in preventing use of the software to commit an unlawful act" such as piracy, computer trespass, or dissemination of child pornography.
Goodbye innovation; hello regulation. "Reasonable care" could mean anything from the forced design and/or redesign of software to mandated filtering and digital rights management (DRM) -- even the forced installation of spyware to monitor user behavior. ...
From the birth of the Xerox machine to the modern web server, every technology that enables people to copy or disseminate content has had the capacity to be used for some illegal activity. Under Murray's logic, we should have stopped the manufacture and sale of VCRs, dual tape decks, postal services, carbon paper, and any other service or device that could potentially be used in a crime..
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