In Dicta

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Grokster

I find it amazing how mainstream outlets like law.com can have such a seemingly biased take on cases. Read on:

"The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the creators of Internet file-sharing programs can be held liable for copyright infringement, siding with the interests of Hollywood over technology companies.

The unanimous ruling dealt a blow to online peer-to-peer networks such as the defendants in the case, Grokster Ltd. and StreamCast Networks Inc., which claimed that they weren't infringing if people used their software to download copyrighted music and movies. For such file-sharing companies, the ruling appears to mean almost certain death." (emphasis added)

Is the author of this article really sure of this? It almost makes it seem like the Justices decided that Hollywood "interests" needed protection, and decided to sentence "to death" the Internet companies. Personally, I think we should protect technological innovation, and new means of communication and sharing. But this ruling was relatively narrow, saying that on the facts the defendant file-sharing companies had committed wrong-doing.

Does anyone really use a file-sharing network to "share" files that aren't copyrighted? Maybe some do, but the vast majority of users undertake illegal activities. Did we really expect the Court to sanction this kind of behavior?

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