INFO TECHNOLOGY: Got an email alert from Downhill Battle this morning. I'm going to call at lunch time, you should too!
This is an emergency alert for everyone who took part in the Save Betamax call-in day: Today, Orrin Hatch will be trying to line up enough votes to get the INDUCE Act (S. 2560) through to the Senate floor. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee need to hear from you right now.
At the bottom of this message is a list of Senators to call. Please take the time to call two of them, before 5 PM EST today. The bill is scheduled for mark-up on Thursday, so it's very important that you make these calls today.
We need to stop this bill, and we can. Because the INDUCE Act is such a radical departure from two decades of tech policy (set in place by the Betamax decision), a truly unprecedented coalition has formed to stop it. Heavyweights of the technology and electronics sectors are joining public interest groups in fighting hard against the extremely well-connected entertainment industry lobbies (the RIAA and MPAA). Right now there's something of a stalemate-- insiders all say that INDUCE has a 50/50 shot at becoming law.
That's why it's extremely important that Senators hear what you have to say. This email is going out to the over 5,000 people who participated in the Save Betamax call-in day. Tomorrow (Wednesday) the EFF will be running a call-in day for their members, using the software we made for Save Betamax. In just two days Senators could be hearing from tens of thousands of constituents. But we need you to make these phone calls, and spread the word (i.e. on your blog, or in an email to friends) that right now is the time to act.
SENATORS TO CALL
Please call two of these Senators, and if you have time feel free to make more calls. Make sure to look down the list to see if any Senators represent your state. Every phone call counts, but calls from constituents will carry more weight, so make sure to let them know if you're a constituent. Also, the RIAA likes to pretend that all musicians support their breed of copyright extremism. We know that's not true, so if you're a musician make sure to mention that as well.
Charles E. Grassley
Edward M. Kennedy
Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
Russell D. Feingold
Charles E. Schumer
Richard J. Durbin
NOTES FOR YOUR CALL
On the new INDUCE Act drafts:
The INDUCE Act has already been through several revisions, as Hatch et al. attempt to appease some of their most powerful opponents. But none of these revisions cut it; all of them make industries liable for infringement they don't commit or even profit from, and all of them would give the entertainment industry veto power over new technology (say, the wireless iPod). For more information on the latest draft, see the following article in Wired:
On Republicans and Democrats:
Like many tech law issues, this one cuts across party lines (most powerful members of both parties are on the wrong side). If you're calling Republican Senators, emphasize that this legislation would create a huge new legal liability (which means bogus litigation) against American high tech companies. Tell them that the Heritage Foundation and the American Conservative Union both oppose the bill. And check out an ACU flyer here:
If you're calling Democrats, emphasize that the Betamax decision was sound policy and that the entertainment companies' extreme stance on copyright is directly opposed to the public good.
For more information about the INDUCE Act, go to:
Thanks for your time and your energy.
Downhill Battle Team