Stop INDUCE--Mark-up Now Possible October 7, 2004
Calls Urgently Needed NOW to All Members of the Senate
A sincere thank you to all who responded to last week's AALL Action Alert by calling your Senators and asking them to oppose the September 30th mark-up of S. 2560, the "Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act" (INDUCE Act). The Senate Judiciary Committee did not mark-up the bill last week, and in fact some congressional staff told us that they received more calls from constituents opposing S. 2560 than they've received on any other issue thus far during the 108th Congress! That's the good news for a job well done! However, we desperately need your help again today.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch's response last week was to convene negotiating sessions every day between a small group of representatives from both the content and technology/ISP communities and lock them in a room until they could agree to a consensus bill. Despite long days of negotiations and several more drafts, as of this morning, the two sides are farther apart than ever. And from our perspective, the latest version is even worse than the original bill.
If enacted, this legislation would make companies and other Internet service providers (ISPs) liable if their software or technology "induces" users to violate copyright laws. AALL is a member of a large, diverse coalition that opposes this bill because we believe strongly that the solution is not to ban technology simply because it can be used to "induce" consumers to make illegal copies. S. 2560 outlaws technology, not bad conduct, and P2P technology is in fact used for many important legal purposes. The bill is so broadly drafted that it has many unintended consequences far beyond targeting those who infringe copyright.
S. 2560 continues to undergo daily revisions. We understand that Chairman Hatch may offer yet another version in anticipation of marking up S. 2560 at tomorrow's Judiciary Committee business meeting. Even worse, we have just learned that the Senate may not recess until Saturday (rather than Friday), potentially giving Chairman Hatch an opportunity to quietly pull together a quorum off the Senate floor and get the bill reported our of Committee--without any public debate. We need to stop that from happening.
Please call your Senators immediately through the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at: 202-224-3121.
Express your grave concerns that rushing a bill that implies a fundamental realignment of our intellectual property system through mark-up and to the Senate floor with no hearings is wrong. There has been no consensus on any drafts during the past week of negotiations and the drafts we have seen do not address the fundamental problems with this bill. S. 2560 should not be acted upon by the Senate Judiciary Committee this week.
MEMBERS OF THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
Orrin G. Hatch, Chairman (R-UT)
Charles E. Grassley (R-IA)
Arlen Specter (R-PA)
Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
Mike DeWine (R-OH)
Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Larry Craig (R-ID)
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Patrick J. Leahy, Ranking Democratic Member (D-VT)
Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA)
Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE)
Herbert Kohl (D-WI)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Russell D. Feingold (D-WI)
Charles E. Schumer (D-NY)
Richard J. Durbin (D-IL)
John Edwards (D-NC)
Thank you very much!
Mary Alice Baish