The Reg’s Grokster Commentary [7:46 am]
Too bad this didn’t make it to the NYTimes instead: Silent tech majority invites Mickey Mouse to poison P2P
It happened years ago. The “KA” appeared, and everyone embraced it. They hugged that “KA” with all their might, hoping it might correct a collapsing technology scene. Then, when the “KA” grew a sore, they dumped it.
The “KA” or killer app was Napster - and on a larger scale P2P software. P2P file-trading started to thrive around the same time that the Nasdaq started to dive. Intel saw P2P as a way to sell more processors and publicly cheered the technology. Sun Microsystems followed suit with the JXTA P2P protocols. A host of smaller software companies crafted flimsy business models around the P2P idea. These players recognized that the time to whine about not having a killer app had passed - one was gyrating right in front of them.
Now we find P2P software in front of the Supreme Court. And not only P2P software. Hollywood today will ask the Supremes to overturn an ancient decision protecting the use of VCRs and indirectly other devices that can be used to copy content for personal use.
Has the tech industry that once salivated over P2P software’s ability to chew through processors, hard drives and bandwidth run to the rescue? Not exactly.
The only company willing to stand out on its own and back the P2P software makers is Intel - the most vocal backer of the old, illegal Napster (not the boring new Napster.)
[...] You might think some smart folks over at Seagate, AMD, Cisco, Adobe, IBM, Apple, HP, EMC would consider for a minute how a P2P revolution could benefit them. No such luck.
[...] There is a depressing mood hanging over this whole mess. In this time of Bushness, you can’t help but feel that the Supreme Court will overturn Sony and put some temporary power back in the hands of the dinosaurs. “Let the eagles soar,” as Ashcroft liked to sing. The Bushies have already said they’d prefer to see these P2P culprits be put down. We’re not quite sure how the Republicans ended up siding with effete, drug addled Hollywood types. But they did.
And then you have this monster of a technology industry - the engine of America’s growth - that can barely muster a few words in its own defense. The IT crowd - other than Microsoft and to some degree Intel - has never been big on Washington; but come on. Are these companies that produce the life blood of our economy really going to be pushed around by a stuffed mouse with buttons and helium balloon shoved down his throat? Only one company had an opinion all its own on the matter? Shame.
It’s not even just lack of voice in the briefs that is depressing. The big whig vendor brass has been silent on the matter. No one has had the guts to call out Hollywood for the ancients they are. No major company been smart enough to take a strong, public stand on P2P. That McNealy guy at Sun usually has a lot to say. Instead, they’ve twiddled their thumbs as the RIAA sued your children, grandparents and naval cadets.