Saturday, August 21, 2004

Chalk One Up for the Good Guys

It's been a busy week, but I can't neglect to mention that there was a major event this week concerning one of my pet issues. The Electronic Freedom Foundation reports on a landmark legal victory for peer-to-peer file sharing, as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that distributors of the peer-to-peer software Grokster and Morpheus cannot be held liable for the infringing activities of their users. The decision is based in part on the fact that P2P networks have significant non-infringing uses, and that they can help artists earn money.

Read the full opinion here. UCLA law prof (and noted blogger) Eugene Volokh weighs in on the subject, generally supporting the Court's ruling while allowing that P2P technology can be used for good and for ill. And I found a great article from a few years back by writer Ken Layne, who rants against the Machine much more thoroughly than I did. (via Instapundit, who also points out some political implications of this.)

QUOTE OF THE DAY (1): "What happens when an industry mistreats its customers and its suppliers? When 8,999 of 9,000 audits show shoddy accounting practices? When a core business is bungled and the marketplace shrugs and moves on? When scandals and greed lead to massive layoffs and massive disgust?  I'm not talking about Enron. I'm talking about the record industry."--from the Ken Layne article.

QUOTE OF THE DAY (2):"This is a victory for innovators of all stripes. The court's ruling makes it clear that innovators need not beg permission from record labels and Hollywood before they deploy exciting new technologies."--Fred von Lohmann, Senior Intellectual Property Attorney of the EFF.