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July 06, 2005
Samuelson on Grokster
Pam Samuelson weighs in on the Grokster decision in the forthcoming (Oct 2005) Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery.
Read the 7-page paper: Legally Speaking: Did MGM Really Win the Grokster Case? [PDF].
Her answer as to whether MGM actually won Grokster? Not really:
MGM didnt really want to win Grokster on an active inducement theory. It has been so wary of this theory that it didnt actively pursue the theory in the lower courts. What MGM really wanted in Grokster was for the Supreme Court to overturn or radically reinterpret the Sony decision and eliminate the safe harbor for technologies capable of SNIUs. MGM thought that the Supreme Court would be so shocked by the exceptionally large volume of unauthorized up- and downloading of copyrighted sound recordings and movies with the aid of p2p technologies, and so outraged by Groksters advertising revenueswhich rise as the volume of infringing uses goes upthat it would abandon the Sony safe harbor in favor of one of the much stricter rules MGM proposed to the Court. These stricter rules would have given MGM and other copyright industry groups much greater leverage in challenging disruptive technologies, such as p2p software. Viewed in this light, MGM actually lost the case for which it was fighting. The copyright industrys legal toolkit to challenge developers of p2p file-sharing technologies is only marginally greater now than before the Supreme Court decided the case.
Read the whole thing. You'll find that her conclusions are very similar to my conclusions in Kicking the Sony Can Down the Road.
via Constitutional Code
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