Tuesday, March 29, 2005

More Grokster info

Okay, so it's been over a week since I posted last, and I feel really guilty about it. Maybe guilty isn't exactly the right word, but I don't really know what the right word is. In honor of my comeback, I'll even post a couple of times today. But first things first:

Today oral arguments are being heard in the MGM v. Grokster case before the Supreme Court. I just watched Washington Journal on C-Span, which had Fred von Lohmann (attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation) going toe-to-toe with Theodore Olson, an attorney representing the RIAA and MPAA. It wasn't really much of a contest...I can't recall a single caller who sided with the entertainment industry, and there were even a few callers who seemed to understand what the case was about (which is a rarity on the Washington Journal)! Teddy Olson also tried to tie in p2p file sharing with kiddie porn, among other things, and was instantly shot down by the EFF attorney.

It was nice to be able to watch real people discuss the issue on teevee, because I know that the sources I read almost universally support the position of Grokster, which is that the makers of technologies cannot be held responsible just because their product has a potential to infringe upon copyright, so long as there is also a legitimate use for it. So I figured maybe the RIAA lawyer would be persuasive with some argument I hadn't heard before. Nope. If the EFF loses this case, I'm going to cry for a very long time.

If you're still not with me, check out these innovations which would not have been possible if not for the landmark Betamax case. In addition, I'll admit to using p2p just last night for a legitimate purpose - downloading a new distribution of linux via bittorrent - in your face, RIAA!

EDIT: If you want a good run-down of today's events, check out this post, and also check out EFF's deep links; also, if you really care, here's a link to the video of the EFF attorney tearing poor ex-Solicitor General Olson apart (via boingboing).

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