Patterico's Pontifications

3/29/2005

Grokster Case is Critical to Free Speech

Filed under: Civil Liberties — Patterico @ 10:37 pm

I agree with Justin Levine about the importance of the Grokster case.

I still wish he or Volokh would weigh in on the “neutral reporting privilege” issue.

6 Responses to “Grokster Case is Critical to Free Speech”

  1. “Can you imagine the state of freedom in the world without the technological revolution that the VCR first ushered in? It almost didn’t happen…by a 5-4 decision.”

    I wholeheartedly agree with the Sony outcome that Levine is describing. But I’m curious why people are so happy with such naked judicial legislation. Sony simply took a concept out of patent statute and glommed it, rather roughly, onto the copyright statute.

    Hooray for that, by the way, but its odd to hear it being cheered in a ‘it was a good result’ fashion.

    actus (f9abe0)

  2. I plan on expanding on this on my blog, but the problem here is that there is little Grokster content that is legal. On one hand you could say that this is Grokster’s fault and/or intention; on the other hand you could say it’s Sonny Bono’s fault.

    Thirty years ago, copyrights extended 52 years. This would mean that anything done before 1953 would be public domain, giving Grokster at least some allowed content. Now it’s 95 years (raised in stages), limiting allowed content to the period prior to almost all analog recording (1910). The Supremes missed a chance to roll back the effectively infinite Bono copyright extension, and now they are going to have to deal with the results.

    My hope is that they rule extremely narrowly against Grokster, on the basis of “exclusively illegal use.”

    Kevin Murphy (6a7945)

  3. Grokster’s Problem
    Yesterday, the US Supreme Court held its hearing on the Grokster case. The plaintiffs (Hollywood) assert that Grokster (and by extension all other free file-sharing services) is solely organized for the purpose of stealing copyrighted material. They ha…

    The Interocitor (ca7e8c)

  4. Grokster’s Problem
    Yesterday, the US Supreme Court held its hearing on the Grokster case. The plaintiffs (Hollywood) assert that Grokster (and by extension all other free file-sharing services) is solely organized for the purpose of stealing copyrighted material. They ha…

    The Interocitor (ca7e8c)

  5. I made a useful post on this topic earlier today.

    The thing of it is that the VCR analogy may be astute at a superficial level, but there’s never been anything like the Internet in terms of mass propagation of digitally faithful copies of these copyrighted works. There was certainly piracy with VCRs, but not on this scale. Which is why I would not be surprised at an unfavorable ruling against the P2P people later this year.

    Toby Petzold (cd28cf)

  6. This technology is going to be critical to the success of blogging. As readership expands and bandwidth costs rise, the technology will allow bandwidth costs to be spread among readers. This will become more and more important as blogging inevitably becomes a multimedia enterprise.

    Patterico (08c813)


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