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Grokster Ruling Won’t Stop Real Pirates June 27, 2005

Posted by David Card in Media.
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I suppose I’m obliged to have an opinion about the Grokster decision handed down by the Supreme Court. Frankly, I just can’t get excited over the Court’s unanimous decision that sends this case back down to a lower court, because the the defendants “took active steps to encourage infringement.” (Leaving some room for legitimate P2P use, and for a Betamax defense elsewhere.)

This is hardly a “big victory” for Big Media. All this means is that P2P networks that cater primarily to pirated music and movies will move farther offshore. That makes them harder to shut down, last I checked. Yeah, the decision also makes it easier for Big Media to go after a small handful of companies (Grokster and Morpheus, as powered by StreamCast).

And “The ruling, according to analysts, could provide a lift for legal music online businesses like Apple’s iStore, RealNetworks and Napster, and the emerging online movie services like Movielink, CinemaNow and Starz on RealNetworks.” Huh??? Not according to this analyst. I love digital music, especially subscription services – especially for music aficionados – but nothing competes with free.

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