The INDUCE Act

Check out all about it here.

The problem, as I see it, is that recording in the home has been established as perfectly legal, as long as it’s done for non-commercial purposes. For example, making copies of various songs from your CD collection onto a tape so you can listen to it in your car does not break copyright laws. See Title 17. Chapter 10. Subchapter D Sec. 1008 of the U.S. Code, which states: “No action may be brought under this title…based on the noncommercial use by a consumer of…a [recording] device or [recording] medium for making digital musical recordings or analog musical recordings.’



In other words, as long as you don’t sell a copy, you’re fine. I think the INDUCE Act is harmless, in light of Title 17. However, as such, it’s a waste of time. How does one prove that someone induced someone else to violate a copyright? Just because a device allows one to record copyrighted material means zilch because it is also capable of copying non-copyrighted material (such as recordings of family outings, school plays, etc.).



To be fair to conservatives, however, this is akin to saying that a gun company induced someone to use the gun to commit a crime. Yet, just today, Bushmaster is reported to be paying out $550,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by victims and victim’s families in the Washington, D.C.area sniper shootings.



What we really need is major Tort* reform. But it’s hard to reform something that has evolved slowly over hundreds of years of law. Such an evolution comes out of some necessity and is it really a good idea to tamper with it? A better question – is it really possible to tamper with it, when many of the very people who would participate in its reformation (lawyers) are the ones making the most money from it?



*Tort: Various legal (primarily money damages) and equitable remedies which the law provides in the case of civil wrongs arising from extra-contractual liability. See here for more details.

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