Crazy Legislation

The “Induce Act” is a crazy bill to begin with, and it looks like it is gone, at least for a while. This description from Reuters, quoted below, gives a good example of why bills should be limited to one subject.

Though the committee declined to take action against file-trading networks, it did approve a measure that would direct the U.S. government to devote more effort to chasing down individual file traders.

Peer-to-peer users who share more than 1,000 songs or other copyrighted works would face up to three years in prison under the bill. U.S. copyright investigators would be able to file civil suits, which require a lower standard of proof than criminal cases, echoing tactics already used by the recording industry.

Those who secretly videotape movies when they are shown in theaters or distribute movies before their release date would face up to 10 years in prison.

The bill also designates the oak as the national tree.

I have no idea how the idea of “one bill, one subject” could become law, although it should. The problem is that it would be very difficult to define what “one subject” is — for instance a finance bill could cover a lot of different areas, but still be considered one subject because it’s all finance.