Seth Finkelstein takes an interesting and pre-emptive shot at post-Grokster commentary, claiming that there will only be one of three main story lines (Meta-Meta-Grokster). For the traditional media, sure. But this is wrong:
So, as a matter of mathematics, the number of people trying to say something about this, vastly outnumbers the basic number of things to say. The insight of power-laws is that the distribution won't be uniform. Sure, anyone can write about it - but there isn't much of a reason to read what anyone writes. Blog-evangelists consistently neglect this factor. Not to mention the relative privilege necessary to be able to take the time to spend pouring over a document and writing analysis. [italics in original]
Most of the news stories are going to be much simplified versions of the general outline of the decision, and once you've read the AP
or NY Times
account, there isn't going to be much reason to read the LA Times
and all the rest. Indeed, there will be surfeit of "me too" posts in the blogosphere as well (which isn't necessarily a bad thing).
Yet the blogosphere is going to be doing something else as well. On several sites, including the Picker MobBlog and a branch off of SCOTUS Blog, you're going to have more than two dozen of the finest legal minds in the country dissect and discuss the decision in real time. Within 24 hours, many of the main legal themes, disagreements, and remaining questions will have been thoroughly analyzed. There will still be room for the academic papers, but 80% of the work will have already been done. Of course, this will only be of interest to those who follow the legal arguments closely, but for those this is a cornucopia of serious goodness. Far from being no reason to read the commentary there are now dozens.
Yeah, there are going to be hundreds if not thousands of mediocre news stories and blog postings on Grokster ... but there is also going to be a level of serious legal commentary never before seen.
And. yes, its a relative privilege to be able to spend time to analyze and write about the decision. Heck, given the poverty of vast majorities of the planet, it is a privilege to be able to read about the decision at all. And it is also a relative privilege to have the education necessary to understand the case on a deep level. But that's the point, isn't it? That is what is going to make the hours-after-release commentary on Grokster far richer than ever before.
Finkelstein himself is privileged when analyzing and writing about censorware. My commentaries on censorware can't touch Finkelstein's. That's a good thing. That's a reason for more people to write about what they know, in otherwords, to blog. The hard part is finding who to read when. The filters are imperfect, but the quality of material available has improved dramatically. Will someone's brilliant Grokster insite be lost in the shuffle? Quite possibly. On the other hand, under the old regime of information dissemination, there would have been zero chance.