[FoRK] Rip. Mix. Burned.

Ian Andrew Bell FoRK fork
Mon Jun 27 13:50:20 PDT 2005

Under the "it may not be as bad as it seems category" this judgment  
implicates not necessarily P2P networks in general, but in fact those  
that encourage music and movie sharing over their networks.  The  
effect, however, will be that such networks have to weigh the cost  
and possibility of a volley of pre-emptive lawsuits by Hollywood, and  
anyone designing devices had better consider whether their omission  
of DMCA-approved copyright protection constitutes "encouragement".

So the message from the Supreme Court seems to be that music and  
movie sharing is legal, so long as consumer electronics and PC  
hardware and software makers collude to make it difficult to do.   
This is an important hole which will be exploited in the long run by  

By my interpretation of this judgment, companies like Apple could be  
sued for products and campaigns like their 2001 "Rip. Mix. Burn."   
campaign.. which drove the music industry crazy.

In America, anyway, this will further perpetuate the entertainment  
industry's collective denial of the elephant in the bathroom, and  
make their eventual decline and demise that much more rapid when the  
time comes.



June 27, 2005 - Court Rules File-Sharing Networks Can Be Held Liable  
for Illegal Use

The United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that Internet  
file-sharing services like Grokster and StreamCast Networks could be  
held responsible if they encouraged users to trade songs, movies and  
television shows online without paying for them.

The case, which pitted the entertainment industry against technology  
companies in the continuing battle over the proper balance between  
protecting copyrights and fostering innovation, overturns lower court  
decisions that found the file-sharing networks were not liable  
because their services allowed for substantial legitimate uses. The  
justices said there was enough evidence that the Web sites were  
seeking to profit from their customers' use of the illegally shared  
files for the case to go back to lower court for trial.

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