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NYC LOCAL: Tuesday 14 September 2004 Call Congress Day: Downhill Battle

From: secretary
Subject: NYC LOCAL: Tuesday 14 September 2004 Call Congress Day: Downhill Battle Asks Your Help In Defeating the INDUCE Act
Date: 14 Sep 2004 04:15:31 -0400

  what="official announcement and follow up note">

 From: Nicholas Reville <>
 Subject: pho: "Save Betamax" - INDUCE Act Call-in Day
 Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 13:35:22 -0400

 Hey Phosters,

 Downhill Battle is announcing a national call-in day to opposed the 
 INDUCE Act.  It's going to happen on September 14.  We feel like the 
 most basic principle to rally people around is preserving the Betamax 
 decision, and so our project is called "Save Betamax".  Take a look:

 I hope you'll all join in!  Our press release is below.



   Holmes Wilson -
   Nicholas Reville -
   Downhill Battle (
   Grey Tuesday (
   Phone: 508-963-7832

 Music group organizes "Save Betamax" online protest in opposition to 

 DOWNHILL BATTLE (September 8th, 2004) - The online community is 
 rallying around the Supreme Court decision that made the VCR legal, 
 just as this important piece of public policy is being threatened by 
 Hollywood-backed Senators.  Today organizers start amassing support for 
 a massive national call-in day on Tuesday September 14th to support the 
 1984 "Betamax" ruling and oppose the INDUCE Act.

 In the case "Sony Corp vs. Universal City Studios" the Supreme Court 
 ruled that movie studios could not hold VCR manufacturers liable when 
 customers made illegal copies, because VCRs also had "substantial 
 non-infringing uses".  But now, Senate bill S. 2560, known as the 
 "INDUCE Act" would undermine the Betamax decision by creating a new 
 kind of liability: the VCR maker of tomorrow could be sued  for 
 "inducing" their customers to make infringing copies.

 "The iPod, the recordable CD-ROM, the VCR, and even the Xerox machine 
 all owe their success to the foundation laid out by the Betamax 
 decision," said Holmes Wilson, co-founder of the Downhill Battle, which 
 is organizing the call-in day.  "But now," says Wilson, "a handful of 
 very well-connected entertainment companies are trying to undermine 
 that foundation."

 The swelling public voice will come to a head next Tuesday in a storm 
 of phonecalls to Senate power-brokers.  Organizers expect the event to 
 draw a large number of tech law experts, bloggers, activists, artists, 
 and regular internet users.

 "Everyone who understands the potential of the Internet knows that the 
 Betamax decision was good public policy," says Downhill Battle 
 co-founder Holmes Wilson, "If you've watched the internet grow you just 
 get it: when programmers, artists, and businesses can innovate without 
 restraints, good things happen."

 "In blogs and online discussion forums, you hardly ever see this many 
 people agreeing on anything," said Tiffiniy Cheng of Downhill Battle, 
 "But here there's a real point of consensus: the Betamax decision was a 
 good idea and tampering with it is a mistake-- that consensus is what's 
 going to make this action so successful."

 The consensus extends to the community of mainstream tech companies.  
 Last month, tech giants including Google, eBay, Intel, Verizon, and 
 Yahoo signed a letter opposing S. 2560.  "When you give entertainment 
 giants the right to sue tech companies, you strangle scores of 
 beneficial technologies in their infancy," said Downhill Batttle's Nick 
 Nassar, "The tech sector doesn't want that to happen, and the public 
 interest advocates don't want it to happen."

 Downhill Battle is a public interest advocate at the intersection of 
 music and tech law.  In February 2004 the group staged the "Grey 
 Tuesday" protests, a online action for copyright reform that drew 
 100,000 participants.

 This is the Pho mailing list.

 From: Nicholas Reville <>
 Subject: pho: Save Betamax Update (Stop INDUCE Act Protest)
 Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2004 21:55:05 -0400

 I wanted to send a quick update about the Save Betamax national call-in 
 day to oppose the INDUCE Act.  We now have over 1500 people signed up 
 (and growing).  We're targeting a dozen key lawmakers, each of whom 
 will be getting hundreds of calls spread out through the day-- I think 
 it could have a real impact.

 If you haven't signed up yet, we'd love to get more people involved!

 Nicholas Reville

 This is the Pho mailing list.

Distributed poC TINC:

Jay Sulzberger <>
Corresponding Secretary LXNY
LXNY is New York's Free Computing Organization.

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