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Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Industry offers alternative to P2P bill


Electronics manufacturers and some Internet providers are mounting a counterattack to a copyright bill intended to ban peer-to-peer networks and that could also imperil devices like Apple Computer's iPod.

That measure, called the Induce Act, has been widely panned by the technology industry. Now some groups, including SBC Communications, Verizon Communications and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), are fighting back with their own proposal that will be sent to Capitol Hill on Tuesday afternoon.

Their proposal, dubbed the "Don't Induce Act," is designed to provide the Senate with an alternative that's less threatening to the industry. It is far narrower, saying that only someone who distributes a commercial computer program "specifically designed" for widescale piracy on digital networks could be held liable for copyright violations. Hardware like the iPod and other music players would not be targeted.

In an interview, Michael Petricone, a CEA vice president, said Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch told the technology industry to "give us something that reflects your concerns."

"We came back and tried to do what Hatch asked us to do," Petricone said. Hatch, a Utah Republican, is the primary Senate proponent of the original Induce Act, which also enjoys support from top Democrats.


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