Copy Controls Bill Draws Fire

Four technology groups are fighting a U.S. Senate bill that would allow copyright holders to sue creators of products that "induce" copyright violations. The bill would discourage technology companies from offering new media players or other recording products, representatives of those four technology groups said this week.

The Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004 broadly allows lawsuits against anyone defined as inducing copyright violations and could be used by the music and movie industries to sue venture capitalists who invest in new technologies or journalists who review digital recording products, said Gary Shapiro, president and chief executive officer of the Consumer Electronics Association.

The legislation, which doesn't exempt makers of technologies with substantial legitimate uses from lawsuits, would discourage the creation of new products like the IPod or TiVo, or home video and recording equipment, Shapiro said.

"I can't find any technology company that supports this legislation as written," Shapiro testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee (news - web sites). "This bill is, by far, the biggest threat to personal creativity, new technology, and innovation in 20 years. I urge you to consider the harm it will engender."

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News source: PCWorld

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