Grokster ruling

“One who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright … is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties using the device, regardless of the device’s lawful uses,” Justice David Souter wrote in the ruling.

Not just torrent authors then ? So CD burners, DVD burners (hardware and software), code that captures streaming video and many other things make a company liable ? What sort of disclaimer will be needed ? If Apple put on their iPod “Do not use with stolen music” will that be good enough ? If they don’t could it be construed that they are not doing enough to stop people ? If a torrent author releases code with a “Piracy is bad” banner, is that good enough ? Fact is, without the telephone cables, none of this piracy would be happening, without massive bandwidth (8megs for a home link ? WTF for ??) it would not happen. Quick ! Sue the companies that make CD blanks, and DVD blanks, and hey even music cassette makers too because they’ll kill the music industry too won’t they ? (Oh.. crap…that never did happen did it ?)
“promoting it’s use” – what a wooly piece of junk that is. The big Co.’s will now say that not only must products be released with lot of stickers and big bad threats, but also that code must be used to thwart pirates and then even though people will do that they will tag on more and and and, and .. and.
In the end though this has 2 effects:
– it will drive a new front of piracy. People will fight what is a nonsensical piece of kowtow legislation.
– it actually changes NOTHING for the end user.

4 thoughts on “Grokster ruling

  1. I’m at a friends house right now and he is about to initiate the transfer of a song to a person he is chatting to. He is using Messenger. Does this mean that the record label can now sue Microsoft for creating software that allows music piracy to occur?

  2. The judicial systems in most countries are still firmly rooted in the 19th century. It seems they will never learn.

    Also, on the subject of stealing stuff, the last couple of movies I’ve attended have all had a pre-feature “message” regarding movie piracy. “Don’t steal movies.”


    That kind of bullshit makes me want to copy all of my DVDs and give them to my friends…

  3. This is so silly. It either goes one of 2 ways: the “inducement” language has to be so broad, that no one would ever do it, and this is useless. Or, it’s construed waaaaay broad, more cases find their way into court, and in the meantime, all those developers in other countries outside the reach of the U.S. Courts continue developing and making their software available on the internet. Dumb ruling.

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