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Archived updates for Tuesday, October 05, 2004

An Interview with "The Father of Digital Copyright"

Bruce A. Lehman
Interviewed in Corporate Counsel:

"I know the Induce Act is very controversial. I personally am rather sympathetic to what it is trying to do. The notion that the makers of the digital file-sharing software Kazaa and Morpheus [Sharman Networks Inc., and Streamcast Networks, Inc.] are out there selling file-sharing products or promoting file-sharing products because they think people are going to be using them only for sharing stuff [legally, such as data files] is absolutely ridiculous. Overwhelmingly, these products are being used to permit unauthorized copying of copyrighted works [such as music] without the permission of the copyright owner. I think Kazaa and Morpheus are built on an infringement problem, and that just troubles me that, somehow or other, the courts haven't been able to recognize that and develop an appropriate response, and that's why you see the Induce Act."

As assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce and commissioner of the Patent and Trademark Office from 1992 to 1998, Lehman helped author the DMCA, a piece of legislation that drew fierce criticism from digital rights activists.
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