Orrin Hatch is at it again, and LawMeme is on the case. I’m still mystified why Republicans are interested in helping the RIAA and similar industry groups further the cause of “copyright protection”, aka “making it impossible for people to listen to legally purchased CDs in their car”.

Hatch has introduced a new bit of legislation called the IICA (Inducing Infringment of Copyrights Act), formerly the INDUCE Act. The IICA would basically make it illegal for anyone to make a device that could be construed as encouraging people to violate copyrights.

Take note that such a law, even moderately interpreted, would outlaw the following sorts of devices:

Photocopiers (and conceivably related things like carbon paper)
PDAs and related devices like the iPod
Arcade game emulators
WiFi car stereo
AM/FM transmitters
Any sort of CD burner
VCRs and Tivo devices

Notice that I don’t mean that the use of such devices to violate copyrights would be outlawed. That’s already illegal. The IICA is talking about actually making it illegal to manufacture a device or product that can even be possibly used for same. That means, for example, that photocopiers would not exist. They would vanish from the retail world.

Anyone care to speculate on the havoc that this would wreak upon modern society? Xerox machines disappearing from public libraries and workplaces? No CD writing capability? No PDAs?

Personally I think being forced to listen to Clearchannel as the only radio alternative is torture in itself.

You could, potentially, use the principle of such a law to outlaw paper.

Does this sort of crap even require a rebuttal during argumentation? It should be self-evidently in nobody’s best interest, and idiotic besides. Does the RIAA and the rest of the industry responsible for this movement really understand the depth and intensity of the enemies they are making? I haven’t bought a retail mainstream CD in months, because I’m increasingly uncertain if they will even work on my equipment. I have a couple of new ones that will not play in my car because my car CD changer is not an approved device. Forget playing them on the computer. That stopped working a long time ago.

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