The End of Innovation?

Corante makes some excellent comments about the proposed Inducing Infringement of Copyright Act (formerly INDUCE Act), and points to a mock complaint prepared by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Mr. Miller also provides The Obsessively Annotated Introduction to the INDUCE Act, which is occasionally humorous but scary reading. It is nice to know, as is pointed out frequently in the introduction, that we are doing this to protect the children.

If this passes it will be possible to tie up new technologies in litigation at tremendous cost in time and money with little recourse, virtually eliminating the advancement of anything that might possibly infringe (or induce infringement of) copyright. The most frightening thing is that if this act had existed 30 years ago there would be no VCR, no CD-ROM burners, and no Tivo, regardless of the efficiency and time savings that products like this have provided. And anyone who wants to create this kind of technology in the future faces a potentially costly legal fight – a cost they have to bear regardless of the outcome. So that means that while the rest of the world continues to progress, innovation in the United States will grind to a halt. So if you were thinking about just turning on the TV to watch a good movie and forget all about this just remember – there would be no Cable TV either.