Today’s Grokster Coverage [8:51 am]
Jonathan Zittrain, an expert in Internet law at Harvard Law School, said the court’s ruling might compel copyright holders to focus more energy on lobbying legislators to change the law. The copyright holders, Mr. Zittrain said, “may be reaching the limit of what the federal judiciary is prepared to do to help them in their cause.”
BBC News - File-sharing systems in legal win
The decision means that instead of suing the creators and operators of file-sharing networks for copyright infringements, record labels and movie makers will have to take the more cumbersome route of finding and suing individual file swappers.
Tim Wu @ Lessig Blog: Cert.?
So the question on Grokster-watchers’ minds: Cert? (For non-lawyers: will the Supreme Court hear this case?)
My guess is yes, for 7 reasons, ranging from the more to less legal
RIAA Chief Executive Mitch Bainwol vowed to press the industry’s case against piracy in Congress. “This decision does nothing to absolve these businesses from their responsibility as corporate citizens to address the rampant illegal use of their networks,” Bainwol said.
Key to that effort is the so-called Induce Act, which would make it a federal crime to induce people to violate copyrights. The bill, which was sponsored by leading senators from both parties, is awaiting action in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Adam Eisgrau of P2P United, a lobbying group for file-sharing companies, cautioned legislators to proceed carefully or risk stifling the sort of experimentation that leads to technological breakthroughs.
“This was a court that wants to send, and has sent, a very clear signal that making copyright law an instrument of powerful parochial concerns can have hugely negative consequences for the consumer and, very importantly, for the American economy that the entertainment industries try to make synonymous with their own deep-pocketed well-being,” Eisgrau said.
It is not just an abstract discussion either. The arguments over copyright are the first skirmishes in a serious battle over the shape of our digital world.
If the big rights holders have their way then copyright will become a real property right, like the rights I have over the laptop I am writing this on.
You cannot make me lend it to you. It is mine forever unless I sell it or give it away, and if you take it from me without asking, then that is theft and you could go to jail.
Intellectual property is not like that. It was never supposed to be like that. Copyright is a time-limited monopoly on certain forms of use of a book or recording, and was not to be treated in the same way as ownership of a house or car or pair of shoes.
But persuading the record companies that they cannot expect to exert complete control over every recording, forever, is not proving easy to do.
Perhaps they will be persuaded if we refuse to give them our money.
[...] I will not buy music online because I do not want to support a system that is trying to lock down our creative heritage, stifle innovation and claim ownership of our common culture.
The Grokster decision has given me hope that the law around copyright is still understood by the judges.
We need to make sure that this does not change, and we also need to make sure that lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic realise that they cannot give the big rights holders everything they want.