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Grokking Grokster

Personally, I can't. Make much sense of MGM et al. v. Grokster et al., that is. There seems to be a fair bit of disagreement within the legal blogosphere as to the long-term repurcussions of the decision. Most commentators I've seen tend to find that the Supreme Court (aka The Supremes) declined to either strengthen or enervate the Sony Betamax standard for the digital era and focused mostly on the behavior (especially the marketing plans) of Grokster and Streamcast.


  • P2P file sharing wasn't found to be substantially infringing
  • Nor was it found to be substantially non-infringing

There's all sorts of arguments about vicarious infringement versus active inducement and whether the Supremes took elements from patent law and created a new standard for copyright law and speech vs. behavior and etc.

The Library Copyright Alliance is not unhappy about the outcome. I simply hope that companies working on new and existing models of content distribution don't feel the need to prove their respect for copyright by locking all of their products down with DRM ...