Tuesday, June 28, 2005

RIAA/MPAA vs the People. 1 - 0.

The Supreme Court of America has ruled against P2P sharing in the much-publicized "MGM vs Grokster" case. Wow. Scary.

OK, so the problem I have with this ruling - in my understanding - is that it provides a precedent for the software developers of specific P2P systems to be responsible for how people use their software. What the? It's akin to stating that the designers of email can be sued for allowing people to send illegal files to each other.

I do have problems with some of the P2P systems - apparently they were trying to "foster infringement" of copyright and that's not on. But the legal precendent that this sets, if it applies to all P2P developers, is concerning.

For what it's worth I believe that any technology should be allowed to be developed. Without restriction. Only how it's used should be of interest to the courts.

Anyway, smarter people than I are writing about this hot potato - here are some links!

Popular Science: Supreme Court Strikes a Blow against P2P Sharing

BBC: File-sharing suffers major defeat

SCOTUSblog: Grokster, StreamCast Lose

Robert Scoble: Major bad news for P2P software

Davenetics: Dowloads No Longer on the DL

Corante: Notes on RIAA and MPAA Press Conference

The actual ruling [pdf]

I dare say that Bram Cohen (creator of BitTorrent) may be a little nervous today...

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