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Grokster's President Talks About Court Win 135

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the future-of-file-sharing dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Now that the Morpheus/Grokster trial is over, the heads of the various P2P services are hoisting their glasses in triumph. Ciarán Tannam interviews Grokster President Wayne Rosso to get his two cents on the verdict. Xolox also applauded the ruling and posted this release. Of course, it aint over yet as the RIAA has vowed appeal."
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Grokster's President Talks About Court Win

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  • promises (Score:5, Funny)

    by Joehonkie (665142) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @09:48PM (#5849742) Homepage

    When I saw "Vowed appeal" I was expecting to see "Vowed REVENGE!"

    • Re:promises (Score:2, Insightful)

      They will appeal and appeal and appeal until they can buy the right judge, then they'll win.

      This is a glitch at best for the RIAA.

      Find it funny that Rosen is being bought in to write the intellectual property laws in the "new" Iraq. (Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...)
      • They will appeal and appeal and appeal until they can buy the right judge, then they'll win.

        No, they won't. In civil cases at least, you can't just appeal a verdict because you don't like the ruling and want a 'do-over'. You need to present a reason why the first court case was flawed.

        If the RIAA can't come up with anything plausible, the request for an appeal will be denied. I expect the first appeal request will be granted, just in the interest of fairness, but if they lose that one I don't expect a
  • ya know (Score:1, Funny)

    by B3ryllium (571199)
    I think Grok is a frog. It sounds like a good name for a frog.

    Grok! Grok!
    • grok (Score:5, Informative)

      by pipingguy (566974) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @10:36PM (#5850001) Homepage
      grok /grok/, var. /grohk/ vt. [from the novel "Stranger in a Strange Land", by Robert A. Heinlein, where it is a Martian word meaning literally `to drink' and metaphorically `to be one with'] The emphatic form is `grok in fullness'. 1. To understand, usually in a global sense. Connotes intimate and exhaustive knowledge. Contrast zen, which is similar supernal understanding experienced as a single brief flash. See also glark. 2. Used of programs, may connote merely sufficient understanding. "Almost all C compilers grok the void type these days."

      http://info.astrian.net/jargon/terms/g/grok.html
  • Congrats! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Blaine Hilton (626259) *
    I for one would like to say congratulations. However I'm afraid more of these suits are going to be occurring as time goes on.

    Its good to hear some good news on the news at least sometimes.

    Go calculate [webcalc.net] something

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Grokster could have an affect on satellite radio. In some ways it is in direct competition, particularly as wireless becomes more in vogue.

    I have an Alpine CDA-7878 and an Alpine XM unit and a Panasonic Sirius unit, both with Terk antennas. The Alpine unit was connected to the head unit via an AiNet cable and the Sirius unit was connected with an auxiliary RCA adapter available from Alpine (KCA-121B). I had XM since it debuted and Sirius for a few months in the Pacific Northwest.

    The bottom line, for tho

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Okay...I read the article, and I don't get how what you wrote is related. Nothing in the press release nor the interview mentions anything about satellite radio or distribution methods.

      Are you saying that someone could consider making a head-end that latches on to an open WiFi Access Point, connects to Grokster, and plays a music stream while in range? Exactly how long do you think that you'd be in range of these APs? Assuming you're travelling in suburbia, probably long enough to hear *one* song at most.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I've been analyzing the situation for some time now myself. I've come to the conclusion that what's good for the stockholders is not necessarily what's good for the company.

      Which is why I think that AMD might really beat Intel after all. I've used Intel processors in the past, because they were available in my area before Athlons. However having tried both I really prefer to stick with AMD at this point.

      In other words, what the fuck did your comment have to do with Grokster??
    • you're sirius seems to require a browser Windows Media Player plug in to function properly. that's not really considered free streaming in these here parts. i'll stick with my shoutcast streams, thanks!.

      and of course, this has absolutely nothing to do with the grokster interview or their "victory" in court. there, offtopic, redundant, and slightly informative.
  • "What the Fsck do you think you are doing!?"

    HA! HA!
  • apple music (Score:3, Insightful)

    by minus_273 (174041) <`moc.oohay.MAPS' `ta' `aaaaa'> on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @09:56PM (#5849787) Journal
    given that the labels are starting to play smart like the apple music service, i dont see this as lasting very long. expect a court to squash this decision soon.
    face it people, the best justification for free mp3 sharing was that there was no alternative. people said they would pay if they could.. if it was reasonable.. well no it is and you can.
    I expect the MPAA and RIAA to win this one
    • I have no money so unless its free its not reasonable.
    • Re:apple music (Score:4, Informative)

      by m1a1 (622864) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @10:34PM (#5849990)
      face it people, the best justification for free mp3 sharing was that there was no alternative. people said they would pay if they could.. if it was reasonable.. well no it is and you can. Wow, you apparently haven't paid the slightest bit of attention to what the ruling is about. The point of the ruling is that there are legitimate uses to Grokster. You point out that there was no other way to download music but that has no legal bearing. The only way for me to rob the bank vault is to go inside and take the money out, that doesn't make it legal.

      This judge is saying that Grokster has uses that don't infringe and it isn't the software makers responsibility to ensure that it is used legally. I agree with this. Imagine if everyone who has been hacked from an MS box could sue Microsoft. What if everyone who was hacked from a Linux box could sue Linus or the distro maker of the offending box? It would be ridiculous.

      I am not trying to be harsh, but curb your ignorance please. Understand what the case is about and understand how appeals work. Then comment. Until you are educated you just sound like what you are: ignorant.
      • Re:apple music (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Planesdragon (210349)
        This judge is saying that Grokster has uses that don't infringe and it isn't the software makers responsibility to ensure that it is used legally. I agree with this. Imagine if everyone who has been hacked from an MS box could sue Microsoft. What if everyone who was hacked from a Linux box could sue Linus or the distro maker of the offending box? It would be ridiculous.

        Yeah, what if the hackers who write exploits for script-kiddies could be prosecuted... er...

        P2P systems and OSes are different animals--
        • how about people like me, I got a bunch of vintage vinyl, shouldn't it be legal for me to download mp3 of the music I own the right to listen to as a working copy, and keep the vinyl for archival purposes? A file sharer has noway to know if my copying an mp3 to my computer is legal or not. I agree that the majority of file sharing is illegal, but I resent any organisaztion assuming that I'm a criminal because of some software logging on to a service. If what I'm doing is ileagal prove it, what ever happened
          • Re:apple music (Score:5, Insightful)

            by ninewands (105734) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @12:05AM (#5850407)
            Quoth the poster:
            A file sharer has noway to know if my copying an mp3 to my computer is legal or not.

            Incorrect, grasshopper ... the "piracy" does not occur when you download a file you have no legal right to possess ... the "piracy" occurs when the "file-sharer" serves the file out to the 'net. The act of infringement is complete when the file is offered because the right that is infringed is the right to distribute the work.

            Understand this and understand it well. It is NOT illegal to download a file from a P2P network. It MAY be illegal for you to possess the file if it is a copyrighted work that you have no other legal basis for owning. If you have a paid-for CD that includes the track in question, you have done nothing wrong by DLing a copy from the 'net for your personal use, although it would be a little more sanitary, from a legal perspective, if you had ripped and encoded that mp3 yourself. It is NOT illegal to "Rip, Mix & Burn" ((C)Apple Computer, 2002) for your OWN use! It IS illegal for you to serve out files over a P2P network and it IS illegal for you to "Rip, Mix & Burn" ((C)Apple Computer, 2002) and give the CD-R to someone else, because you are DISTRIBUTING the work in violation of the copyright.
            • Re:apple music (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Zemran (3101)
              The act of infringement is complete when the file is offered because the right that is infringed is the right to distribute the work.


              offered != distribute ...

              distribution has not completed until the file is on the receipients machine.
              • IIRC, in the world of copyright law, a work (a song, a sound recording) is considered "distributed" when copes are offered to the public. For free, for sale, it doesn't matter. It is the act of offering the work to the public that constitutes "distriubtion". Noone has to actually buy a copy of the work. Heck, nobody has to even posses a copy; just the fact that you offer the work to the public is the key.

                I'd think the same concept applies here. "Distribution" occurs when the file is offered to the pub
            • Re:apple music (Score:2, Insightful)

              by dcw3 (649211)
              Please correct me if I'm wrong, but if I have an mp3 in a directory that happens to be *available*, and someone decides to download it, I didn't distribute anything...the other person took it. If I rip my CD collection to that directory, am I distributing it???...No! The fact that it's the same directory I use for other P2P stuff, shouldn't matter.

              One question for anyone who knows the rules...if I own the CDs, and rip the songs I like to make my own favorite songs CDs, am I in technical violation of the
              • No, you distributed it.

                If you had your computer setup to launch a massive DDOS attack against a computer that pinged you, you'd still be the one launching the attack.

                And as for ripping the songs from the CD you bought legally--that's totattly legal "media shifting", and it's considered Fair Use. Give those copies to anyone else, though, and you've committeed copyright infringement.

                The common argument at this point is "well, if he has the CD, it's OK." Which is sort of like saying "If you rob a credit u
              • "If I rip my CD collection to that directory, am I distributing it???...No! The fact that it's the same directory I use for other P2P stuff, shouldn't matter."

                This logic is severely divorced from reality. Just as a drug dealer can't claim that he was merely holding out a bag full of cocaine, which someone else just happened to take and leave money in his hand, you can't claim that ripping a CD and throwing it into your shared directory isn't distributing it. Hell, under your system, it would be impossib

            • Re:apple music (Score:2, Informative)

              by Zirnike (640152)
              You are close to completeness, grasshopper, but you make one mistake. It _is_ legal for you to

              IS illegal for you to "Rip, Mix & Burn" ((C)Apple Computer, 2002) and give the CD-R to someone else, because you are DISTRIBUTING the work in violation of the copyright.

              The Napster case used this as a defense, in fact. The judge did not rule the argument invalid (it had been used many times before), but instead ruled that Napster users were not considered 'friends' with all other Napster users (in other wor

      • ok, this might seem a bit off-topic, but the parent comment started me thinking...

        doesn't this ruling go against precedents set in past lawsuits concerning other industries? I seem to remember a class-action some time back against gunmakers, claiming that they *were* in fact responsible for the IRresponsible use of their products. I could be entirely wrong, but I was under the impression that the court's ruling was unfavorable to the likes of Smith & Wesson...

        why are gun manufacturers responsible fo

        • why are gun manufacturers responsible for the way their products are used by the public if software manufactures aren't?

          Erm, I don't think that can possibly be true (IANAL). Do you know how many people die per year in the US because of irresponsible usage of guns? If the gun makers were responsible for the way their products were used by the public, they'd all have gone out of business a LONG time ago.
        • Gunmakers are being sued, to my understanding, for intentionally flooding certain high-crime areas with guns they should have known would be used illegally. They were negligent with their product distribustion. They are not responsible for others actions with their guns, only for their own actions in putting those guns in the hands of criminals. Guns, of course, are a more regulated industry, too.

          In this case, P2P software makers would have to intentionally advertise "come steal with our software" for it

    • Re:apple music (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Smegoid (585137)
      Reasonable is stretching it. The thing about some p2p apps, and soulseek in particular, is they're community and occasionally genre orientated. And for someone into any kind of non commercial music -in my case minimal techno and IDM but the argument could be made for indie punk, shoegazer, all female banjoe and kazoo bands, whatever; Apple music or any of it's soon to crop up brethren are not going to stock the kinds of music I want to listen to. Ever. It's extended top 40's for the college crowd with oodle
    • Not necessarily...I'm not so sure that the RIAA will continue to send lawsuits against the people that run the P2P systems like KaZaA/Grokster, unless of course they manage to buy a judge or 2...or 3. What they may do however, is start going after the people who are downloading, particularly those who are sharing files and acting as the Super Nodes. They are already snooping around in IRC...even though what they are doing is technically illegal, noone is going to fight them because they have much more money
    • > the best justification for free mp3 sharing was that there was no alternative

      No, that was never the best justification. The best justification is that the copyright laws have outgrown their usefulness to society and are being exploited by a small number of large corporations to the detriment of everybody else, including the artists who actually create the music.

      What we need is a rethink of copyright laws. Since laws are a product of money more than morality, depriving those companies with a vested in
  • *ster names (Score:5, Funny)

    by DaLiNKz (557579) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @09:59PM (#5849811) Homepage Journal
    Maybe Napster should come back and sue all these *ster names. Its like everywhere I go there is something.. for an example roogl--err i mean, feedster [feedster.com]. What has happen to creativity..
  • Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sheetrock (152993) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @10:00PM (#5849820) Homepage Journal
    I kind of like the idea (mentioned in the first link) of blanket compulsory licensing for Internet media. It sounds like something that could open up new markets in content delivery while ensuring that the artists get paid, which is a win-win, while allowing both the industry and music listeners to benefit from a wider selection of music to pick from and instantaneously purchase.

    But I figure this will end up like the MPAA vs. VCR. Fight the technology tooth and nail until you realize it's another way of getting fistfuls of cash shoved in your general direction.

    • Not sure what you mean by "blanket compulsory licensing for Internet media", but if you mean everyone who uses the Internet pays into a common fund, and then this fund somehow gets distributed among content producers, that won't be a market arrangement, so it can't "open up new markets". A market arrangement requires independent buyers and independent sellers, and it requires that every participant has the choice to buy or sell to a particular other participant, or not. What you're describing is an Internet
      • Not sure what you mean by "blanket compulsory licensing for Internet media",

        Something that would work more like this (hopefully).

        Say I run a website and I want to have a song available for download. So I put it up, then 5,000 people download it. Then I cut a check for 5000 * [fee per song] to the owner of the copyright and everyone is happy.

        The way it works now, someone has to negotiate rates for each and every work in existence, thus destroying a potential marketplace, as such negotiation is well be
        • So it's still on a fee per copy of the song, your point being how the fee is set. There are a couple of options. The fee could be set across the entire industry. Alternatively, each song could carry its own independent fee set by the copyright holder and made public knowledge. Either approach avoids negotiation, but the latter approach is more fully a market approach.

          However I really have my doubts about the workability of any of this in the face of the ease of copying.

  • by Jerk City Troll (661616) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @10:05PM (#5849846) Homepage
    And it appears with their recent activity (which compromises a trial) they are going to start this on a larger scale.

    I apologize for sounding selfish and I hope those who will bear the brunt of these lawsuits will forgive me. I must say that this is indeed a good thing. There will be an initial sacrifice on the part of The People in this case, but the long term result will be positive.

    This eliminates the single point of failure we've seen with Napster. If these guys are forced to go after the users, it will take them a lot longer to accomplish their goals. Instead of taking a sledge hammer to a P2P network, they will be forced to chizel away, one scrape at a time. But there's still more.

    The RIAA/MPAA/IP-Obsessed-Co. will spend bundles of money on these lawsuits. It is not cheap if you're the plaintiff. This increase in their costs will cause them to raise the prices of their product. Consumers will note this increase and more will resort to piracy. It's a feedback loop.

    On top of that, the more frivilous lawsuits they engage in, the less favor they will hold with the courts. Like it or not, a judge's decision is influenced by his personal feelings. If you piss off the judge, expect him less likely to rule in your favor unless the letter of the law absolutely dictates it. Otherwise, many things are up to her interpretation. The more of a fuss the RI/MPAA make, they will be perceived more and more as a nuisance.

    Of course, I could be totally wrong on this. ;-)
    • That is why... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      ...people should be donating [freenetproject.org] to Freenet [freenetproject.org] right now - it is the only P2P application that provides protection for its users.
    • by Blue Stone (582566) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @12:02AM (#5850395) Homepage Journal
      Maybe the RIAA et al, will start to listen to the people.

      AOL [yes I use AOL, bite my shiny white arse] has a survey it's users can participate in, on it's internal homepage thing.
      Here are the questions and results, as of just now:

      Do you think online music trading is wrong?

      84% No, it's the CD prices that should be illegal - 204,896
      16% Yes, stealing is illegal, period - 39,978

      Total votes: 244,874

      What would most effectively curb music piracy?

      54% Lower CD prices - 135,991
      33% Nothing, it's too late - 82,687
      6% Better pay services - 15,809
      6% Threat of prosecution - 15,411

      Total votes: 249,898

      You'd think someone at AOL-TW would take note of this, since they're the ones asking.
      (As well as which of their members voted for what and may require "further investigation" as a result.)

    • and you have a problem with this?

      The fact is that the RNA / MPAA exists to 1) ensure that artisits are in the position to be butt-f$cked
  • by philovivero (321158) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @10:13PM (#5849902) Homepage Journal
    I can tell the RIAA is on the side of the little guy. They're going out there and suing the tar out of those evil P2P guys.

    'Cuz no little guy would ever use P2P to promote their art.

    Not me, [homeip.net] not Anything Box, [anythingbox.com] and certainly not any other artist truly making new and original art. See... without the RIAA, nothing would ever get created. This is the true artistic genius of the world: Hillary Rosen and her copyright-legislation-writing hands.
  • I'm happy ... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by olegm (233286)
    ... to see a bully (RIAA) to get handed a defeat. While it is terrorizing College students @ MIT threatening them with multibillion dollar lawsuits, I am glad to see it lose a court case that it might have had a chance at winning (even morally).

    Secondary to that I am also happy to see my favorite networks stay alive and running.
  • RIAA and Artists (Score:5, Insightful)

    by baertooth (660570) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @10:33PM (#5849986)
    The RIAA should focus their attention on concerts and other activities where they present their artists. The recording industry is going to dimish much much more before it stabilizes. There's too much opprotunity for people and hackers to circumvent what ever technology they throw at us. But if they concentrated on doing very well done public events, they could smash whatever level of income they made before with records. As it is now, concerts are no where near the potential they hold. And wouldn't it be nice of them to release onto P2P networks songs so they could advertise their artist in the public forum? Even if they release 96kps ripped songs, I think it would do more to spread their coverage than it is to attack the networks. The last time I was on Kazaa, there were 4.4 million people on! That kind of potential audience can only be rivalled by television (and soon it will even eclipse that). All they have done is hurt their image time and time again. I have NO sympathy for them at all. Fat Cats looking to become fatter.
    • You can't replace recordings with live performances! Frankly, I think live performances suck. The quality is terrible, artists have usually lost their voice through the 1001 tours they've done before they get to your little town. And what's the point, really? You get to see/hear the artist in person? Through a loudspeaker? Half a mile away? I've *always* preferred the proper recording of a song to a live permformance, and whilst some people disagree with me, you can never substitute one with the othe
    • The RIAA should focus their attention on concerts and other activities where they present their artists.

      The RIAA is the Recording Industry Association of America, and as such, they have nothing to do with artists or concerts. Actually, concerts are competitors to the RIAA, since they take music out of the recording industry's revenue stream.

      The power of the recording industry doesn't come from the value of its products, but from the value of its business: lots of people make money from other people's a

      • Only if the money NOT spent on music sits in your pocket or in the bank.

        If I only spend $5.00 a month downloading music, instead of buying 2 new CDs, that is $35.00 more I have.

        I am going to Super Size it at McDonalds, or by some more CDR's, or a new motherboard, or soccer equipment for my kids.

        Everyone working at BMI may have to get a job as a Nike or something.

        As long as most consumers spend and not save, the money just moves to a different sector of the economy.

        mod me up, this is insightfull

    • The RIAA should focus their attention on concerts and other activities where they present their artists.

      Umm, why? Concerts are not RECORDINGS. There's no 'C' in 'RIAA'...
    • The primary source of income among RIAA members is in recording songs and selling them. They have a huge amount of resources invested in making that particular business model work. While they could in theory promote concerts, there is one key problem.

      Concerts are local events. You dont get much market penetration in Los Angeles when the concert is in New York. A recording can be sold pretty much anywhere.

      END COMMUNICATION
  • The collective P2P community is letting out a silent, but very noticable "neer, neer!" to the RIAA.
  • by Newer Guy (520108) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @11:19PM (#5850222)
    This weekend, the RIAA began using the IM feature of most p2p clients to mass instant message users and threaten individual lawsuits. It seems to me that this is a violation of the programs' Terms of Service (most say that their services are for noncommercial use only). I wonder if the p2p companies can sue the RIAA for this?
  • by rice_burners_suck (243660) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @11:32PM (#5850288)
    Hoisting glasses, huh? It's just like that scene in the Fifth Element, right after Bruce Willis gets the stones and calls the president to tell him... Two seconds later, everyone is hoisting glasses and popping open bottles of champaigne when someone turns around from his console and says, "Mr. President?"

    The president says, "Yes, now what?"

    Oh, just the small detail that the evil entity hasn't been defeated yet and is now heading straight for Earth at a somewhat excessive speed. And you know what? I think the EVIL in that movie symbolized the RIAA. The Fifth Element symbolized freedom. And the whole This is a police alert; Put your hands in the yellow circles. thing symbolized the way WE are gonna live if things don't change... in apartments that look like some Industrial Zone in Doom II, with yellow circles and KEEP CLEAR painted on your wall, and police will look inside your apartment anytime they want and snatch you away in a body bag if someone so much as accuses you of a crime. Only in our REAL future, there won't be any Fifth Element to come along and rescue us. That's how things will be if organizations like the RIAA have their way. See my other posts about sheep, et cetera. It's just like the title of my post says...

    • It's just like the title of my post says...

      Livin' La Vida Loca? In a gadda da vita? WTF does it mean?

      • by rice_burners_suck (243660) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:23AM (#5850837)
        It is Nahuatl, the Aztec language. The story goes that the Mexicas (the Aztecs), were one of the greatest empires and had built the most beautiful and technologically advanced city at the time: Tenochtitlán, now called Mexico City, or more simply, México. Their victories were based on skills in war and politics and their greatness was based on architecture and technology, which included tunnels, bridges and canals for transporting water. During the last forty years of their reign (let's throw the figure of 1480 to 1520 d.C.), their luck began to run out as they suffered great defeats by other groups, like the Taracans. The situation only became worse when Hernán Cortez arrived. Cortez liked the beauty he saw in Tenochtitlán and wanted to place it under his control. The Mexicas' broken situation made them especially vulnerable and their great reign had come to an end. Thus: In otin ihuan in tonáltin nican tzonquíca. Which means: Here end the roads and the days.

        Its long history (along with the pyramids, volcanoes and other nice things relatively closeby) is one of the reasons that D.F. is so full of character.

        (To answer your 'vida loca' comment, Nahuatl is so different from Spanish and yet we seem to have inherited so many words from it that I often wonder what they used to speak in Spain before the 1500s.)

  • ahh.. i see (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dwgranth (578126)
    that last line "vowed appeal" mustve gotten someone mad enough to hack their website [riaa.org] but wait... i think this has been happening [theregister.co.uk] already
  • It seems to me... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eniu!uine (317250) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @12:31AM (#5850493)
    that the fundamental problem with the recording industry is that they don't serve a purpose in the internet era(this being a few years ahead since most people still hear new music on the radio). Their other major problem is that they are trying to collect money from artists works without paying the artists. They have to walk a fine line between wooing the artists and stealing their work while wooing the fans and stealing their money. You know a business model isn't really solid when the sellers have to use the courts to collect their money. Nobody needs to legislate toilet paper(follow obligator links to toilet paper cases)

  • by telstar (236404) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @12:51AM (#5850562)
    Great news on this recent verdict. What I'm wondering is when users all stop buying CDs and switch over to the Apple Music Store, will the RIAA still try to claim that CD sales are down due to illegal music sharing?
  • Declaring file-sharing programs illegal because they are used to share unlicensed MP3s is, in effect, equivalent to making camcorders illegal because they can be used to shoot videos of terrorist targets. *sigh* apologies for the melodrama.
  • by ninewands (105734) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:53AM (#5850756)
    Quote:

    Now that the Morpheus/Grokster trial is over ...

    Let's get ONE thing perfectly straight here ... there WAS no trial! Grokster won it's case on a Motion for Summary Judgment. Basically, the court looked at the evidence submitted by the parties (who BOTH moved for summary judgment) and said "there are NO material facts in dispute, the only questions to be decided are questions of law, therefore, I can decide this suit WITHOUT a trial.

    Why is this distinction important, you ask? The lawsuit was in FEDERAL court. The federal courts of appeal in the US are VERY deferential to the District Courts in deciding whether a summary judgment was the proper way to dispose of a case. The Court of Appeals will start from a presumption that the judge was RIGHT and the burden will be on the RIAA to prove that the judge was wrong on the LAW he followed in deciding the case. The burden is on the RIAA to show that the judge's decision was "arbitrary, capricious and contrary to the rule of law." This is an EXTREMELY heavy burden on an appellant, especially since the district judge's "Memorandum and Order" appears to be WELL supported by U.S. Supreme Court case law.

    <rant>
    To state the matter bluntly, the RIAA has throw a punch and drawn back a bloody stump for their effort. The fact that this has occurred in the entertainment industry's own back yard means that this case, when it is affirmed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, will establish a VERY important precedent (I would estimate that it will be at LEAST as important as the Betamax case) with regard to whether a technology should be suppressed because it CAN be used for copyright infringement. Napster was correct ... Napster DID have control over their network and they COULD ban users engaged in copyright infringement. It is a matter of FACT that Napster turned a blind eye to rampant copyright infringement on their network when they had a (rather blunt-object sort of) means to control it.

    Grokster, KaZAa, LimeWire, gnutella, etc., are the opening efforts at a very promising internet technology. P2P promises to make the distribution of FLOSS and independently published literature and art a routine matter. It is true that you can't make a profit on your work if you share it by P2P, but true artists often work for the love of the art ... (cf, e.g., Linus Torvalds, Alan Cox, Larry Wall, many sci-fi fanfic authors). P2P means that people don't have to maintain crappy geocities websites to distribute their creative works for free if that's what floats their boat.

    It is now and always HAS been my postition that I support strong copyright protection. After all, that's what keeps free (libre) software free. The FSF ACTIVELY enforces the copyrights assigned to it by various FLOSS authors.

    Why the HELL isn't Hollywood willing to do the same when their copyrights are MUCH more valuable, from a financial point of view? One possibility is is that these highly profitable companies who, collectively, have more money than Bill Gates, would rather spend that money buying legislators who will pass laws shifting the cost of enforcing their property rights to the general public than spend it directly on legal fees (which are recoverable under copyright law).

    A darker thought is that they want criminal penalties attached to any and ALL forms of copyright infringement fot the purpose of invoking the legal doctrin of "liability per se", which would award them a damned near automatic judgment against anyone convicted of a criminal copyright infringement, whether that is shipping MILLIONS of pirated CDs a week from your warehouse in Hong Kong or sharing a ripped mp3 file of a copyrighted work out to the internet.

    The media conglomerates want to stomp out peer-to-peer because it threatens their stranglehold on the distribution of entertainment. More

    • by Anonymous Coward
      in conclusion, record companies? Who the fuck needs them?

      We do. Well, I do.

      You can read Project Gutenberg and whatever other publishers agree with your personal vision of copyright protection. You can refuse to go to movies owned by mainstream studios or distributors, you can refuse to buy CDs published by mainstream record labels, and all of that is your choice and the best of luck to you. But I won't follow you in that, because...

      Well, I've seen independent movies and mainstream ones, I've heard ind
      • I partially agree. But, unfortunately, the logical conclusion of your argument is that we must put up with whatever the big labels throw at us, at whatever price they decide on. And many of us who 'live in front of our computers' think that sucks.

        We don't deny that it's important that media is made available to the general public, the crap screened out, etc. We just think there must be a *much* better way of doing it than the status quo. Personally, I advocate the illegal pirating of material. People

      • should I allow my own cultural consumption to be determined by something other than my own personal taste?

        One point the other replies didn't mention:

        Have you ever sat down and questioned why you feel the need to purchase "culture" from someone (huge corporation or otherwise)?

        Is being a consumer (of culture) an important part of your life? If so, why?
  • by grimsweep (578372) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:07AM (#5850796)
    ...this could just be a dastardly plot to lure all of those P2P execs in one building...then BAM! 'Accident' involves gas leak mixed with suspicious DRM-compatible audio equipment.
  • by Anenga (529854) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @06:25AM (#5851255)
    Slyck Ciarán: Janus Friis recently told Slyck that "Grokster is an older customized version of KMD/FT" and that older versions "supernode server to fetch seed IP addresses when not available locally". The verdict seemed to clear Gokster Ltd of operating any supernode server. Can you categorically say that Grokster does not need a supernode server and if not how does it fetch the location of supernodes when not availably locally?

    Grokster: Grokster does not operate a Supernode server or a server with IP addresses or any type of server that interfaces in any way with the operation of Grokster or FastTrack with the exception of ad serving via the Start page. Grokster does not need a Supernode server to operate.

    That doesn't sound right to me. They didn't completely answer the question: what discovery services do they use? Every P2P Servent has discovery services. Kazaa has a bootstrap server, Gnutella/Gnutella2 (Shareaza, Gnucleus etc.) has GWebCache... what does Grokster have? I seriously can't think of another way to obtain a list of "Supernodes"/"Hubs"/"Ultrapeers" other than a centralized location. Well, maybe port scanning a range of IP's to see if they're running Grokster and know of any Supernodes, but I don't think they'd do that...

    It just seems like they were avoiding that question, trying to get Grokster "unaffiliated" with anything "central". Because "central" = easy to shut down.

    Frankly, I really don't care what happens to Grokster. Grokster isn't in for it for the evolution of P2P technology, but rather money. Hell, they didn't even really code Grokster, they just license other P2P clients from other companies [kazaa.com] which were created from other companies [bluemoon.ee]. All they do then is create cute GUI layer then stuff it to oblivion with Spyware and other ads which yield them, apprently, "millions".

    What I think won this case was their defense that P2P can be used for "good things". They probably use Gnutella as a prime example, where the network is free, open and decentralized. FastTrack (the network Grokster is modeled after) is none of those. IMO, it's a three strikes your out philosophy. Is your closed source? Strike. (Okay, you can get away with that one) Is your client network closed? Strike. Do you earn profit? Strike. Grokster is outa' here.
    • The FastTrack network IS decentralised, at least compared to Napster. There is no central listing of IPs/files, but rather supernode servers, which consist of users with fast connections, and these are the IPs that are queried when searching. This somewhat ingenious design results in a fast network with an almost unlimited capacity to expand, but yet which is easily searchable by users, and pretty much decentralised (I doubt Kazaa need or want to run any Napster-like indexing servers).
      • The FastTrack network IS decentralised, at least compared to Napster. There is no central listing of IPs/files, but rather supernode servers, which consist of users with fast connections, and these are the IPs that are queried when searching. This somewhat ingenious design results in a fast network with an almost unlimited capacity to expand, but yet which is easily searchable by users, and pretty much decentralised (I doubt Kazaa need or want to run any Napster-like indexing servers).

        Well, I don't think

  • maybe napster should go back to have their court case overturned?

  • by StormReaver (59959) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @08:55AM (#5851702)
    "Grokster does not operate a Supernode server or a server with IP addresses or any type of server that interfaces in any way with the operation of Grokster or FastTrack with the exception of ad serving via the Start page."

    Do Grokster client have to route through the ad server before being allowed to operate normally? If so, then Grokster will lose the appeal as this is a central point of control. This will also demonstrate that, since the Grokster execs know that its service is being used to extensive copyright violations, the service operators can control who is allowed to use the service and eliminate those who violate copyrights.

    If the clients are not required to pull ads for the normal course of operation, then the above doesn't apply. However (and I admittedly know nothing about Grokster), if Grokster is a for-profit company and makes money by selling ad space to users, and since the Grokster clients are closed source, I can't help but think that Grokster operates by requiring users to pull down ads from a central server in order to operate correctly.

    Of course, the ad and spyware servers may not be hard coded in as a requirement for the P2P software to operate, and the P2P software may merely assume that the ad and spyware servers will not be firewalled off or otherwise blocked. If the operation of the software depends upon the ad and spyware servers being operational, then Grokster has already lost the appeal and will be guilty of contributory infringement just like Napster.
  • the heads of the various P2P services are hoisting their glasses in triumph

    I think I've seen this movie before. They're doomed.

    Premature celebration is always the setup for the big take-down scene. Just you watch.


  • The best thing about Napster was the Linux
    support. Hopefully one of these other services
    will release something or make it possible for
    gtk-gnutella to work.
  • If anyone cares: It is not exactly accurate to say that the "trial" is over because there was no trial in this case. The judge decided that it was not necessary to have a trial on the facts because the RIAA parties could not win as a matter of law. This is called "summary judgment."

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