MGM Studios vs. Grokster, 04-480
March 4th 2005
The issue in this case is whether the developers of peer-to-peer file sharing software can be held liable under copyright laws if their software is used by some consumers to exchange copyrighted materials even though it also has substantial non-infringing uses that are likely to grow over time. The position taken by the Court below, and by the ACLU in its amicus brief, is that copyright enforcement should be targeted at those who actually violate the copyright laws and not at software developers, and that stifling technological development will ultimately diminish the marketplace of ideas on the Internet.
This is kinda funny actually. We've already determined that downloading copyrighted material is of course, terribly terribly wrong in all legal, moral, and practical senses. Now users on the ball allegorically saying "yea, it's your fault too, you started it" and raging conservatives are cramping their fingers from pointing WAY too often on this issue --- by declaring war on software developers. Listen folks, just because people use the internet to create kiddie porn, pro-terrorism, or "i love guns" websites for other people doesn't mean the internet as a whole is to blame. The internet, just like peer-to-peer, is a medium developed for free information exchange and people abused it --- but Al Gore isn't punished because some people decided to pass around a raunchy online video shot of Paris Hilton.
But wait........if the developers intention in creating peer-to-peer was to exchange copyrighted material - then they could very well be responsible for violating copyright laws.....and for my utter disgust with the fact that I have to buy a whole stupid CD when I just wanted one song! But anyhoo, so yea they might hold some culpability. You can't just say that your software is meant for good file sharing and pretend that copyright infringement isn't going on -- the people had to know that the main use of their product was for song sharing. I mean come on, you can't pretend after so long that song sharing with your software wasn't the main craze. Come on.