Sponsors Seek To Amend Induce Act

Senators want more restrictive language.

The four leading Senate co-sponsors of the pending Induce Act have convinced U.S. Register of Copyrights Marybeth Peters to work out concerns about the legislation that were raised by technology and consumer-electronics companies during a July 22 hearing.

The bill, S. 2560, would enable artists and labels to sue peer-to-peer networks that profit by
"inducing" consumers to illegally share protected copyrighted works. Members of the electronics and Internet communities oppose the bill, saying it would snare innocent parties and stifle innovation.

The bill's Senate sponsors -- Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah; Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; Senate Majority leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.; and Minority leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D. -- have asked Peters to work out a more restrictive, "behavior"-oriented version of the bill. The amended language would ensure that the law would not be "misused frivolously against entities who distribute legitimate copying devices or programs such as computers, CD burners, personal video recorders, email services, etc."

The lawmakers want Peters to make her recommendations by Sept. 7.


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