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Long-winded p2p Rant

pirate.gifI don't know how many of you are following the Grokster case, but it is going to be heard by the Supreme Court at the end of this month. Basically, the Grokster case is all about Hollywood big shots trying to stifle creativity and put an end to innovative new technologies, just because it could hurt their archaic, monopolistic business model.

I am sure most of you have used a Peer To Peer (p2p) software at one point or another to illegally download a song or movie, but did you realize there are tons of legal uses for p2p networks? Many prominent musicians realize this and have filed a brief in defense of Grokster.

The weird thing is, basically, this case was already decided by the Supreme Court, in the infamous 1984 Betamax case. If you are unfamiliar with that case, it basically states that technology that can be used legally shouldn't be outlawed simply because some people use it illegally.

The ramifications of a ruling against Grokster could be tremendous. For example, you can use an iPod to share music. Why would Apple continue selling iPods if the RIAA could just sue them for it? MP3 players, CD/DVD burners and wireless routers would become endangered species.

No company would risk making these items and selling them in the U.S. because the risk of a lawsuit would just be too great. The results could be very similar to what might happen if the Induce Act (another idea from the Music industry) is passed. Granted, that is a worst case scenario, but when these multi-billion dollar corporations are planning things like this, it doesn't sound quite so far fetched anymore.

If you'd like to find out more about copyright reform, check out Copyfight, Downhill Battle and the EFF.

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