September 25, 2020

Hatch to Introduce INDUCE Act

Fred von Lohmann at EFF Deep Links reports that Sen. Orrin Hatch is planning to introduce, possibly today, a bill to create a new form of indirect liability for copyright infringement. The full name of the bill is somewhat bizarre: the “Inducement Devolves into Unlawful Child Exploitation Act”.

Not being a lawyer, I can’t immediately say what impact this bill would have. But Fred von Lohmann, a very smart copyright lawyer, sees it as a threat to innovation, and Ernest Miller, who is also well versed in copyright law, uses me as an example of a person whose legitimate activities might be threatened by the bill. That’s definitely not the kind of thing I wanted to read over breakfast.

We’ll have to see how the Hatch bill is received. If it passes, it looks like computer security research may become even more of a legal minefield than it already is.

Comments

  1. doug hudson says:

    Hi,

    There is a long-standing doctrine of active inducement liability in patent law you may want to look up, although therelevant patent law statute (35 U.S.C. s. 271(b)) is much simpler — it just reads “Whoever actively induces infringement of a patent shall be liable as an infringer.”

    Keep in mind “substantial non-infringing uses”, which are a defense to contributory copyright infringement or contributory patent infringement (Sony v. Universal Studios), are not a defense to a charge of active inducement.