July 22, 2004 2:55 PM PDT

Senator wants to ban P2P networks

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The chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary said Thursday that a ban on file-trading networks is urgently required but agreed to work with tech companies concerned that devices like Apple Computer's iPod would be imperiled.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said he intended to move ahead with the highly controversial Induce Act despite objections from dozens of Internet providers and Silicon Valley manufacturers. The Induce Act says "whoever intentionally induces any violation" of copyright law would be legally liable for those violations.

Hatch added, however, that he welcomed comments from critics. "If you help us, we just might get it right," he said. "If you don't, we're going to do it. Something has to be done. There's no way to solve these problems so everyone's totally pleased."

The Induce Act, which enjoys broad support in the music industry and from a handful of software companies, is designed to overturn an April 2003 ruling from a California judge that said StreamCast Networks, which distributes Morpheus, and Grokster were not liable for copyright infringements that took place using their software. Critics of the bill warn that it could make hardware makers like Apple and Toshiba--and even journalists--liable for products and reviews that could "induce" the public to violate copyright law.

Vermont's Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the panel, echoed Hatch's comments. "Nobody wants to undermine the iPod or any other piece of technology out there," he said. "We have to understand that some people use P2P technology in ways that are wrong and illegal."

The Business Software Alliance, which counts as members Microsoft, Apple and Adobe Systems, initially applauded the Induce Act in a favorable statement last month that called it a "reasonable balance between antipiracy and technological innovation."

But by the time Thursday's hearing took place, BSA President Robert Holleyman had become far more tepid in his appraisal of the bill. Holleyman testified that the measure would be acceptable only if it were rewritten "to ensure that only bad actors are found liable."

Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Electronics Association, suggested that the Senate wait for the courts to figure out which file-swapping networks are legal. "Right now, I don't think legislation is necessary, because the harm is greater than any benefit that may be derived," he said.

More than 40 trade associations and advocacy groups voiced similar sentiments in a letter to senators July 6. The Induce Act "would chill innovation and drive investment in technology" overseas, said the letter, signed by CNET Networks, eBay, Google, Intel, MCI, TiVo, Verizon Communications, Sun Microsystems and Yahoo. CNET Networks is the publisher of News.com.

41 comments

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Induce Act will finally give America gun control
Republican Orin Hatch must secretly want gun control as his proposed act states: "whoever intentionally induces any violation" of copyright (or any other) law would be legally liable for those violations" In other words, manufacturers or producers of weapons would be legally liable for violations of law where their product was used. That should stop gun production in its tracks.
Posted by dcongrav (12 comments )
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Not a gun issue
Besides, NRA would never allow it. Remember the 2nd?
Posted by tdlucas (118 comments )
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How abou cars?
And how about a car when it is used to rob a bank? Will the manufacturer be liable? And basball bats used to hit someone? And... And....
Posted by (1 comment )
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Induce - What a concept!
I can hardly wait to see what sharp lawyers will do with the "induce" concept if it becomes law. It would most likely be stretched beyond anything now imagined. The very corporations backing the concept should consider how closely they must watch their own backs as they could very easily find themselves being prosecuted for "inducing" people to misuse tools to steal cars (e.g., Grand Theft Auto) or to misuse certain chemicals to control other people or blow thing up (any number of movies), not to mention gangsta rappers and others who glorify violence, mistreatment of women, etc.

Oh, I know, only the "bad actors" will be punished. Obviously, they have not thought this through or closely observed courts and lawyers in action.

If there is money to be made or notoriety to be gained, someone will hire a lawyer, or some prosecuting attorney will leap into the fray to go after any, especially high profile, corporations or persons who might be "inducing" (by inference only it appears from the definition) others to commit "evil".
Posted by (1 comment )
Link Flag
Hell will receive a new 'Hatch'!
If Sen. (?) Hatch tries to urinate on ANY of our constitutional rights, he may be reminded of history and human nature...if you really want someone DEAD, a handy rock or stick can do the job just as well as a gun.
When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. (But, ladies love outlaws!) What does the previous statement say about aour armed "law enforcement" pawns?
Posted by (2 comments )
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I guess the Internet will be banned next
"We have to understand that some people use P2P technology in ways that are wrong and illegal."
------------------------------

Using this logic, then that means the Internet should be banned because people can use it to do evil also.

These same IDIOTS are the ones supposedly leading our country into wars.

This would not pass in any court of law, and they know it. It the same thing with guns, then everyone who owns a gun must be arrested because they can do evil with it.

If this keeps up, I just may vote for Nader.
Posted by none93 (1 comment )
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What?????
"We have to understand that some people use P2P technology in ways that are wrong and illegal."
--Vermont's Patrick Leahy

Some people use guns in ways that are wrong and illegal. Where's the hue and cry to ban them?

Some people use cars in ways that are wrong and illegal. Where's the hue and cry to ban them?

Personally, I think we need to ban some of these idiots from Congress.
Posted by ordaj (338 comments )
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Stupidity
Just ban internetworking all together. No more networks, no more file sharing. Our GOV is the smartest and coolest of all GOVs. They would never stifle innovation. All praise the senator from Utah. Someone please praise him with a blunt object. He is a true POC.
Posted by tdlucas (118 comments )
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BANNING P2P NETWORKS
WELL, WE KNOW NOW WHAT POLITICIANS HAVE BEEN BOUGHT AND PAID FOR BY THE MUSIC AND SOFTWARE MONOPOLYS
Posted by (1 comment )
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Re: Banning P2P Networks
Getting a law passed is one thing. Enforcing it is quite another. The isn't an agency in the world that has the resources to regulate any part of the internet. In my opinion, if you can't enforce, don't legislate!
Posted by Mike239 (3 comments )
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Is this a joke or what
Did anybody look at the senator web page? There is no E-mail address posted to contact the senator. Does the senator even know what P2P is? What does it implt & how it works? Does he even how computer looks & how to work on it? It sounds like those "bunch of clever folks" in the government know how to do everything. In any situation nothing to fret about just gonna have to go out & get yourself a better encryption protocol and relax. How about we all vote for somebody who deserves that job not for somebody who does not know how to their job.
Posted by (1 comment )
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Careful about your posts...
If you are not careful about your posts of protest you might be sited as trying to induce acts of copyright infringement. While the intent may be good (protecting copyrights is a good thing), it is the action of enforcement that will produce some ill effects.

I think such a law has a lot of legal weakness and won't hold up in court if over-enforced. It presumes no freedom of speach, and assumes guilt before proof. My biggest problem is it regulates a new market before the market has fully defined itself yet. Yes it is a very controversial market, but so was that of the newspaper before our country was even founded.

Our country prides itself on being a "free market" but if you look at how many laws our companies have to deal with to do business every day you will soonr ealise it's not a free enterprise as we all learned in grade school.

We over-regulate all products and services and this increases the cost of doing business. When you put the burden of safety and legal enforcement on companies who are providing services, then costs go up and inovation goes down. New products and services are unable to make their way to the marketplace because of the massive regulations they have to comply with before being able to release any product to the public.
Posted by zaz.net (46 comments )
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Telephones?
They are point to point or peer to peer.

all we need is a bunch of ambitious trial lawyers to come up with inovative arguments.

We are in a strange place right now. We have older politicians making rules on new technologies about which these politicians have no "instincts", and the younger potential political leaders just aren't ready to take power yet.
Posted by (5 comments )
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Idiocy....
Reports are that the bill is worded so broadly that, for example, a camera maker could be held liable if a photographer took a picture of a copyrighted item with that camera.

Like freedom? Better start writing your senators and representatives now.
Posted by rdean (119 comments )
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People around the World welcome this move.
People around the World warmly welcome this move. It will put one more nail in coffin of inovations in USA, driving young, creative & innovative individuals to look somewhere else for their fortunes.

Seems USA have forgotten that Internet removes barriers. Making something illegal - doesn't make it vanish.

RIAA/MPAA have choosen to put they money on driving out threatening innovations, rather than trying to fit this innovations into the everchaning world, thus brinning value to their customers.

The sad part of it - what really make me sick - is that RIAA/MPAA have literally iron grip of media distribution channels. This channels are used not only by entertainment industry & show business, but also by people brining culture to us - talented musicians, actors, painter - artists of all kinds. Indies (who are homing most of the most talented artists) are growing - but I doubt they will ever keep in pace with industry & business.

Later on RIAA/MPAA might another day think that indies are threat to them too and say that you have to have a license or contract with them to sign a song or make a performance on street. Sure contract with RIAA/MPAA will also do.

Internet have proven that exposing people to culture and *not* entertainment/show industry/business - drives CD/DVD sale of B.S. like Britney Spears down.
Posted by Philips (400 comments )
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Global Takeover
This won't just be a problem in the US. This is part of the move to replace nation states as the organizing structure of civilization with the international corporation. The RIAA/MPAA need to maintain control of the flow of information so that they can manipulate public opinion and debate (or just distract us with mindless drivel). If they lose control of information flow then global corporations will have more difficulty pursuing their agenda of wresting power away from the people and the peoples' governments (which is pretty much already complete in the US).
Posted by nealda (105 comments )
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No offense to Americans!
Your senators are the dumbest poeple in your country. And by that, I mean taking money from those s#itheads of the music industry to put great American minds in prison. And afterwards, some will say "I didn't know what was in that ACT." HEY, RIAA here's my add - Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Please, pay me to screw U!!! M'tap tchafoun foufoun ou!
Posted by jacdor90 (50 comments )
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Again who is paying the bill congress?
More and more of these moves in favor of companies and not the citizens of this great country are slowly but surely not only getting the attention of wary people who can tell this is all a whomever has the most money wins situation but also shows your government can be bought, to the highest bidder.
Posted by zincmann (153 comments )
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What happened to the great democracy
So It's true what the rest of the world are now saying about the americans. They have more stupid people in every part of government than any other country in the world - what does that say about the people that elected them. YOU!!!
Big business from the oil companies to the music industry is now offically the United States of America Incorporated. Where is this great democracy that allowed freedom of speech, innovation etc. You have less freedom than most African/Asian dictatorships.
Posted by 1netcomm (1 comment )
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legislation
It would be nice if Congress and the Senate worked on something important such as Health Insurance for All Americans and High cost of prescriptions rather than worry about some file swapping Junk.
Posted by hink2000 (1 comment )
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Orin means well...
He probably wants to make a safer America for you and me.... and at the same time, justify the Return in Investment RIAA gave to his re-election campaigns.

The first poster got the scope and breadth of this bill correct. It doesn't just have to affect P2P networks, but it can also have broad reaching effects on everyone else.

The definition of "intent" is so broad, it is just too easy to pervert this law as a weapon against anyone. This gives the government McCarthy-like powers to simply ignore the inherent rights of its citizens and send them to prison for anything the do that THEY consider to be illegal.

It's sad that Congress chooses to craft and pass laws on issues they are totally clueless on.
Posted by Tex Murphy PI (165 comments )
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LOL!! Hatch has been paid off
How is that making us safer? Any ties to making the US safer is similar when the politicians wrap children in their messages.
Posted by bobby_brady (765 comments )
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Are these people just stupid or what?
What in the world are they thinking? How exactly are they defining a P2P network? Won't this just outlaw FTP, HTTP, and any other protocol or program that connects from one person to another?

I wrote my own "ftp" client and server, which could be used in the exact same way as any other P2P software (Kazaa, etc.) to download "illigal" content, and they want to make *ME* responsible for someone elses use? Gee, that's nice. Lets make Toshiba (or RCA, Emmerson, Panisonic, etc) responsible for TV shows that are recorded by VCR... those are also under copyright! Just because something *CAN* be used to violate the law does not mean that it *ALWAYS* violates the law. Even considering this bill shows the ignorance of people who believe it will make a difference.

As for my development efforts, if this law passes, you can bet I'll never develop any internetworking product again -- and that includes for the company I work for... How is that for *NOT* (yea right!) stifiling innovation? I'm sure other developers will do the same thing. Who *wants* to be responsible for the acts committed by someone else? This bill will have to read like a car commercial, listing all the exclusions to have ANY hope of being successful. As pointed out by other posters, I don't think it would stand up in court either.

I'll be sending my complaints to the Senate
Posted by kemiller (1 comment )
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?
Wouldn't this make the ink pen illegal because it can be used to copy a book?
Posted by brewdog (1 comment )
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not only ink pen: ALL the human body...
All the human body can be used for good and/or for bad: The
World Health Organization once tried to declare all human
beings "ill" from the bird. This was called "preventive medicine".
Posted by jeanloui (6 comments )
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Hatch should be in a mental ward
It's amazing how we let total morons run the country.
Posted by bobby_brady (765 comments )
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Guns are OK, P2P is not
LOL! Hatch is a moron. Time for Hatch to retire and live off his fat pension plan and the RIAA payoffs.
Posted by bobby_brady (765 comments )
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Citizen wants to ban clueless lawmakers
A U.S. citizen said Friday that a ban on clueless lawmakers is urgently required but agreed to work with law makers concerned that laws that actually protect people might be imperiled.

A concerned U.S. citizen, said he intended to move ahead with the highly controversial Reduce Act despite objections from dozens of clueless lawmakers. The Reduce Act says "whoever intentionally induces any violation" of the public's trust to create reasonable laws would be legally liable for those violations.

The citizen added, however, that he welcomed comments from critics. "If you help us, we just might get it right," he said. "If you don't, we're going to do it. Something has to be done. There's no way to solve these problems so everyone's totally pleased."

The Reduce Act, which enjoys broad support in the world community of computer users and from a handful of sensible law makers (both of them), is designed to overturn the moronic ideas of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah attempting to outlaw all P2P file sharing software, which would effectively ban all computer operating systems from Pocket PC's, to desktop's running Microsoft Windows, to Macintosh computers to government mainframes, all e-mail software, all web sites, including the entire internet itself. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah is the only person who would not be affected by this ban because he "doesn't understand these new techno-fangled devices and therefore sees no need to own one. My crayon never crashed.". Critics of the bill warn that it could make good intentioned lawmakers liable for laws they've written that are intended to protect people from violent crimes.

Another citizen, who's also outraged by this Sen. Orrin Hatch from Utah, echoed the first citizen's comments. "Nobody wants to undermine good law or any other piece of decent law out there," he said. "We have to understand that some people use the law in ways that are wrong and unconstitutional."

Some citizens who oppose stupid laws initially applauded the Reduce Act in a favorable statement last month that called it a "reasonable balance between abusive law and sensible, protective law."

But by the time Thursday's hearing took place, those citizens had become far more tepid in their appraisal of the bill. One of those citizens testified that the measure would be acceptable only if it were rewritten "to ensure that only bad actors are found liable."

One citizen suggested that the Senate wait for the courts to figure out which laws are legal. "Right now, I don't think legislation is necessary, because the harm is greater than any benefit that may be derived," he said.

More than 40 trade associations and advocacy groups voiced similar sentiments in a letter to senators July 6. The Reduce Act "would chill protection of the innocent and drive freedom loving citizens" overseas, said the letter,
Posted by Systems_Developer (28 comments )
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what is important
If you have time for this I can't understand why you don't have time to correct the problems reported by the 9-11 commission that would seem more important to me. Perhaps the voters will notice!!!
Posted by frodermann (1 comment )
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Shared 9/11 Reports
Yesterday when the 9/11 commission reports came out I put that into my shares--I wonder if they would consider that illegal also?
Posted by anonymuse (4 comments )
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Legitimate File Sharing
This law would also wind up banning legitimate file sharing. There is a perception that "these kids" downloading are just trying to rip off the record companies and the artists. This is hardly the case. There are a lot of private hubs for various recording artists with very strict rules. Basically, if it's ever been recorded on vinyl, casette, CD, or DVD it is not available to be shared. Instead, the shares only include TV performances that have been converted to digital video. The primary purpose is to allow people in one country to view interviews and performances from another country and vice versa. The legislators need to stop trying to lump everyone into one category since it's just not true.
Posted by anonymuse (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Better ban FTP as well....hmmm SSH too.
Well hell we better ban IM services too because I can transfer a file over that. Come to think of it we better ban external hard drives and USB thumb drives too. Oh what was I thinking we better ban HTML since you can download off of those evil sites too. And don't forget about modems since I can create a P2P connection between comptuers with two modems. And.....get my drift here? This is so critically asinine it borders on the insane.
You know that old saying about lawyers? I'm wondering if it needs to be appended with a statement about senators since their critical thinking abilities seem to be lacking. Stupid stupid idiots.
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
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Guilty Until Proven Innocent
Laws like this treat everyone in the country as guilty until proven innocent. Wasn't it supposed to be the other way around?
Posted by ComputerGuy0 (2 comments )
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This just goes to prove that
No one life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness can be guaranteed while Congress is in session.
Posted by royc (78 comments )
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I have one thing to say about this: These people are not relevant..
As for working with evil CrApple, well I'm speechless.
Posted by Adamanta (3 comments )
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