Copyright / Hatch / Induce

28 07 2004

Senator Hatch has sponsored a bill, Induce Act (S. 2560), that is designed to hold those who create technology to exchange files responsible for illegal, copyright infringement, file trading. Why is our Senator worried about copyright laws? Is this an important issue for Utah? How does this impact us? When I heard of Senator Hatchs sponsored bill, I started to wonder why it would be that he would be concerned about this issue.

Have you ever emailed a document or a picture to a friend? You just traded a file. Is your email program responsible? Was the file copyrighted? Did you just commit a crime? Have you ever FTPd a file? Is your file transfer protocol software at fault if your file was an illegal copy? Do we hold gun manufacturers responsible for gun deaths? File trading is not always a bad thing. Do we want to throw the baby out with the bathwater? Do we want to squash developing technology?

Do you understand all the new technology? I sure dont, and I try to keep up on it and am a frequent user. I also do not understand how technology is going to impact our economy. Do our lawmakers? Does anyone? Law & legislation are lagging behind technology. Do we want legislators to impose laws that limit the development of new technology? Do we understand the economic impact of copyright infringement? Do we understand how limiting that will affect technology development? Does the copyright infringement that occurs make a larger impact on our Utah economy than the impact that limiting technology will? Do the box office receipts go down? Do record sales suffer? How important is the success of that disposable income / entertainment market compared to the Tech sector?

In the state where digital music was pioneered do we want to support legislation that will squash similar development? File trading and the technology to do so, are much bigger than the few punks who trade music and pathetic video taped copies of movies. It is about the exchange of large amounts of data in seconds. It is about the use of media how and when you want it. Your VCR, your iPod, your TiVo, and your file server are not the bad guys.

So once again, why would Senator Hatch sponsor a bill that would protect entertainment media and limit technological development? Could he have a personal interest? Have pirates been downloading Senator Hatchs record, taking his royalties? Or could it be the $150,000 contribution from Big Media? That sounds like a more plausible explanation.

Senator Hatch, are you concerned about Utah and its economy and people or reelection and contributions? Who are you protecting, Utahans or Big Media?

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