Copyright registrar to endorse INDUCE act

According to an article from CNet, Marybeth Peters, the Registrar of Copyrights, is set to endorse the INDUCE act (written about here in a previous article).

In the history of bad technology legislation, this act is set to be rivaled only by the DMCA in terms of its chilling effect on technology. The CNet article contains a number of interesting points, including a pointer to a Wall Street Journal opinion piece by former Intel executive VP, Les Vadasz. Unfortunately, even if you're a subscriber of the Wall Street Journal, you can't see the article after 30 days and you can't see it at all if you aren't. However, the gist is summed up as "[t]he chilling effect that a law like this would have on innovation cannot be underestimated."

I couldn't agree more. Quite frankly, the current legal environment, between the DMCA and the patent situation, makes me very concerned for the future of technological innovation in this country.

This week has seen not only additional support for the INDUCE bill, but also a lawsuit against Apple and Microsoft about patent infringement concerning their respective software update services.

I'm torn, though. As a small company owner and somebody who has been involved in independent software development for decades (frightening, but it has been over 25 years, now), I appreciate the intent of the founders to "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries" (US Constitution, Section 8). However, perhaps it is time to reconsider the time limit for certain types of innovation. 26 years is a long time for a patent and the life of the author is an awful long time for the expiration of copyright on software and technology that may be of absolutely no use in 10 years..html