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Grokster Case Aftermath: Busy times Ahead for EFF

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  • Typo? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by xhorder (232326)
    Concerning or Disconcerting?
    • Re:Typo? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Monday July 04, 2005 @11:56AM (#12979900)
      Concerning:

      (1) that causes anxiety or uneasyness (this EFF article is concerning)

      (2) to engage the attention of (this EFF article is still concerning)

      (2) to be interesting (this EFF article keeps on being concerning)

      On the other hand:

      Disconcerting:

      (1) Upsetting, embarassing (this EFF article isn't disconcerting, apart to Microsoft perhaps)

      (2) Frustrating (this EFF article isn't disconcerting, even for Microsoft)

      So, no, no typo there...
      • Re:Typo? (Score:4, Informative)

        by xhorder (232326) on Monday July 04, 2005 @12:16PM (#12980003)
        But here it is being used as an adjective, and concerning is not an adjective...

        After a quick google search:
        The Oxford English Dictionary has a limited amount of evidence for concerning as an adjective meaning 'causing concern; worrying; important; weighty'. Their first example is from 1649, and the most recent is from 1834; it's marked "archaic."

        reduce the phrase to "a very concerning interview", and is just sounds wrong... /end of pedatic discussion
        • I fear this has something to do with Godwins Law... but I'm unsure how it applies exactly. *Hmmm* Let me think...

          GRAMMAR NAZI!
        • and the most recent is from 1834

          Well, I guess it's time for Oxford English Dictionary to update their statistics.

          -
    • Not Disconcerting (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Stephen Samuel (106962) <samuel@bc g r e e n . c om> on Monday July 04, 2005 @04:27PM (#12981194) Homepage Journal
      The decision (so far) doesn't bother me much in the Grokster case. What it seems to say is that it's OK to distribute Technology, but it's not OK to encourage copyright infringement.

      This may, overall, be good.

      The Madpenguin interview [madpenguin.org] TFA starts by pointing out a study that indicates Copyright infringement may be good for Microsoft [hbs.edu].

      .... We found that in countries where piracy is highest, Linux has the lowest penetration rate. The model shows that Microsoft can use piracy as an effective tool to price discriminate, and that piracy may even result in higher profits to Microsoft!....
      I think that this probably can be extended to the MPAA, RIAA and friends -- in fact, there's the infamous stats that showed a CD buying spree as napster's fortunes rose, and the popping almost the week that napster got shut down.

      If you want to hurt the copyright cartels, obviously the best thing to do is discourage your friends from comitting copyright infringement and encourage them to by local and independently sourced music. and/or music or software that is under an open license. This also tends to result in more money staying in the local economy (good for you in the long run).

      Just like Linux has forced Microsoft to produce better software, lower their pricing and even give at least lip service to 'open' (cough cough) standards, if your friends start ignoring content that is copy protected and going for stuff with permissive customer rights, then those companies are going to have to respond in kind to keep their market share.

      What I liked about grokster was the peer-to-peer distribution network. What I disliked about it is that they openly encouraged copyright violation that effectively supported the mega-corps. This Supreme Court decision seems to open up the possibility of a peer to peer company that actually promotes independent music over the mass market pablum.

  • by ReformedExCon (897248) <reformed.excon@gmail.com> on Monday July 04, 2005 @11:48AM (#12979854)
    The basic point of the ruling is that you need to be able to have plausible deniability when it comes to promoting illegal actions.

    Bitorrent, for example, is able to get away with aiding mass piracy because the primary use for it is to disseminate large binary files. Those files can be anything, but one major use of bitorrent is to ease the spread of Linux distributions and other Open Source binaries.

    Grokster (and its workalikes) is designed, advertised, and used as a way of illegally distributing copyrighted materials. The court just found that if you run a service designed to help people break the law that you will have some amount of responsibility in the acts.

    I'm not saying that I think that "bullet makers" should be held responsible for the actions of a select few of their customers, but I do think that there is a certain amount of discretion that companies riding the razor's edge ought to employ.
    • Grokster (and its workalikes) is designed, advertised, and used as a way of illegally distributing copyrighted materials. The court just found that if you run a service designed to help people break the law that you will have some amount of responsibility in the acts.

      Wouldn't this also apply to Apple's "Rip. Mix. Burn." campaign? Also, does it just apply to software, or to hardware also, e.g. my PVR?

      • Wouldn't this also apply to Apple's "Rip. Mix. Burn." campaign?

        Copying music for your own personal use is explicitly legal. Apple is very clear that the goal is to give you control of your own playlist, not to aid piracy. Their packaging and advertising is full of statements like "iTunes is licensed for reproduction of non-copyrighted materials or materials the user is legally permitted to reproduce. The music tracks shown are for demonstration purposes only."
        • by digidave (259925) on Monday July 04, 2005 @02:22PM (#12980658)
          "Copying music for your own personal use is explicitly legal"

          I've heard repeatedly that this is not the case, as in there is no law that makes copying for personal use legal. It's only the Betamax ruling that makes it legal.
          • I've heard repeatedly that this is not the case, as in there is no law that makes copying for personal use legal. It's only the Betamax ruling that makes it legal.

            That "Betamax ruling" was the US Supreme Court interpreting federal law to say "there's no rule against time-shifting, and it should be allowed."

            And since Congress hasn't succeeding in baring the practice, it's legal. Sterling legal.

            • Fair enough, but that is most definitely not explicitly legal. More like "legal because nobody said it's not".
              • In the US, a Supreme Court ruling is as much a law as any law can ever hope to be.
              • by hazem (472289) on Monday July 04, 2005 @04:39PM (#12981242) Journal
                That's pretty much how the US system is supposed to work. The government is only allowed to do the things that are expressly allowed by documents such as constitutions, charters, etc.

                Citizens, on the other hand, are permitted to do anything that is not expressly prohibited.

                Vague laws and codes, of course, such as "prohibiting creating a public disturbance" allow the government a lot of leeway in curtailing citizens' activities.

                But generally, the government is only allowed to do what is expressly permitted. Citizens can do anything that is not expressly prohibited.
              • No. It is explicity legal--the court IS a triad of the government, and in its purview it has every bit as much say as the other branches have in theirs.

                Abortion, right to a lawyer, right of privacy, criminality of segregation, and a whole slew of other things are law ONLY because the Supreme Court said so.

                Explicity, clearly, black-letter legal.

                (And as others have pointed out--in the USA, if no one says it's illegal, then it ISN'T. See Amendments 10 and 14.)
          • I've heard repeatedly that this is not the case, as in there is no law that makes copying for personal use legal. It's only the Betamax ruling that makes it legal.

            And even that is a dubious interpretation. The supreme court pretty much said:
            (1) Timeshifting is legal under fair use
            (2) The use of timeshifting is substantial
            (3) Substantial non-infringing use is enough

            The decision pretty clearly described the process of building a video library as infringing, I don't recall personal copying being discussed m
            • by Alsee (515537) on Monday July 04, 2005 @08:56PM (#12982261) Homepage
              The decision pretty clearly described the process of building a video library as infringing

              Were you reading a ruling written by the MPAA or something? Chukle.

              The ruling I read, the one written by the US Spureme Court, said no such thing. They certainly stated that building tape libraries was common, but they never said anything either way about the legal status of that activity. There merely said that time shifting is an example of fair us, and that that mean VCRs had a legitimate purpose and that Sony was not liable. That and ended the case right there.

              questionable if private copying would be legal if this means that the recipient is avoiding paying subscription/PPV fees

              It's kinda hard to tape something if you don't pay the fee to have it send and they don't send it. So assuming you have paid to receive PPV or whatever then there's no reason taping it should be treated any differently than taping anyhing else.

              Under the redefinition of "commercial gain" to also include access to other copyrighted works, two buddies taping shows from each other's subscription channels might be considered commercial.

              Yes, the redefinition in law was rather rediculous. I'm sure it was a trojan horse planted by the publishing industry lawyers that actually wrote the text of the bill, and that in general the legislators who voted it into law had no idea of the actual impact. The good old "we're not changing the law, we're just clarifying what what is already criminal" manuver. Essentially anyone who has ever uploaded so much as a singe file and downloaded so much as a single file on P2P is technically guilty of criminal infringment and suject to a year in prison. Ten uploads (again covering virtually everyone who has ever used P2P) is a felon subject to FIVE years in prison. If this law were actually to be actually enforced we'd need to build more than ten times as many prisons to hold a substantial portion of the entire population. The entire country would collapse overnight.

              So yes, giving out your tapes to other people may in some cases raise legal issues, however that is entirely separate from the legality of the taping itself.

              -
          • "Copying music for your own personal use is explicitly legal"

            I've heard repeatedly that this is not the case, as in there is no law that makes copying for personal use legal. It's only the Betamax ruling that makes it legal.


            Not true. The Betamax case was certainly the first time it was ruled on, but it has since been codified into law by the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992, which added Chapter 10 to U.S. Title 17. Check out Section 1008, "Prohibition on certain infringement actions [cornell.edu]":

            No action may b

      • Wouldn't this also apply to Apple's "Rip. Mix. Burn." campaign?

        No. Since 'Rip' pretty explicitly means you have the CD to burn from ... ripping is fair use, not a breech of copyright.

        Also, does it just apply to software, or to hardware also, e.g. my PVR? No, again because a PVR records for time shifting purposes which is fair use.

    • You have the right idea, but you seem to be buying in to some unfortunate memes that really should be scotched: "plausible deniability", "promoting illegal actions", "get away with aiding mass piracy"... Bittorrent is promoting legal actions, it's aiding the distribution of software, it doesn't need to "deny" anything. The problem is that there's a limited amount of bandwidth, the solution is a Usenet-style store-and-forward distribution system.

      If Bittorrent had come first, and these systems had started out like Usenet as a way for people to share information (discussion boards, open source software, and so on) nobody at the EFF would dream of defending Grokster on the grounds that they're only making their money from "arms length" piracy, just like nobody sane would call an ISP a censor for refusing to carry alt.binaries.warez.

      There's nothing new about peer-to-peer networks. The Internet is a peer-to-peer network. Usenet, UUCP, Fidonet, peer-to-peer networking has been the nerve fibers of the community that slashdot is part of since long before the Internet has been available to carry its traffic.

      So it's a damn shame that Napster and its successors were created to take advantage of the limited anonymity of peer-to-peer networking rather than its bandwidth-accelerating capabilities... to uise the technology as a cut-out so they could make money from mass copyright violations rather than sharing legal material. Because they may have ended up poisoning the well for good, given the way even defenders of systems like Bittorrent are using this kind of language.
      • To blame napster for poisoning the well is just too much. Shawn Fanning was just some 19-year old college kid on a pet project. I don't think anyone looked that far ahead.

        • To blame napster for poisoning the well is just too much. Shawn Fanning was just some 19-year old college kid on a pet project.

          All that means is he poisoned the well accidentally rather than deliberately.

          I don't think anyone looked that far ahead.

          Lots of us did. Of course when we pointed out that Napster's business model was basically the knowing promotion of illegal activity, we got slammed by the extreme anti censorship brigade... but the fact is that Napster screwed us all by establishing this conn
      • by LilGuy (150110) on Monday July 04, 2005 @02:51PM (#12980787)
        Thanks Tom Cruise. Go take your L. Ron Hubbard vocabulary somewhere else. You've got no business preaching that word "meme" around here. ;)
        • Why is the parent +4 funny? we cant use the word meme anymore? im genuinely curious. has it jumped the shark, so to speak, the same way that 'paradigm' did in the late 90s?

          someone modded this guy up and thought he was funny, but to me the grand parent was just a normal slashdot comment. do i have to sit through that allegedly dreadful war of the worlds to get the joke?

        • by argent (18001)
          Now I'm not an expert on Hubbardisms, but I strongly suspect that the word you're thinking of is "engrams".
    • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Monday July 04, 2005 @12:16PM (#12980005)
      The basic point of the ruling is that you need to be able to have plausible deniability when it comes to promoting illegal actions. Bitorrent, for example, is able to get away with aiding mass piracy because the primary use for it is to disseminate large binary files.

      Hey, that's a great idea!

      Ok everybody, hear this: I am on a certain channel, on a certain IRC server, and I'm proposing to exchange Linux binaries (wink) via DCC CHAT. The distro I have here is called Linux Reloaded (nudge nudge), and it fits on a standard bootable DVD. I'll let you download Linux Reloaded if you can let me have GNU in the Shell (the "innocence" release). Leave me a message on this here board with your email addy and I'll let you know which IRC server/channel I'm on so we can exchange these insanely great, erhm, open-source softwares (get it? say no more, say no more *wink*).
      • well i have the new "chronicles of linux" distro with an xvid crypt...wanna trade distros?

        not to mention all releases of the blade distros... blade 1.0 (best imho),
        blade 2.0 (good but not as good as 1.0),
        blade 3.0 (too close to apple if you ask me)
      • Pirates or Free-loaders? It's all the same...

        What's interesting about your funny, and indeed this whole discussion, is that people here are clearly saying that a primary purpose of P2P is software theft. Yet, quite often here at Slashdot, whenever that issue is pointed out, the poster will soon be modded "flamebait" or "troll".

        Ey matey, I think there be some pirates about! Well, OK, maybe just free-loaders.

      • The distro I have here is called Linux Reloaded (nudge nudge), and it fits on a standard bootable DVD. I'll let you download Linux Reloaded if you can let me have GNU in the Shell (the "innocence" release)

        A fun posting. But Ill take it as well as a gentle reminder that plausible deniability is an easier sell on Slashdot than in court.

    • The basic point of the ruling is that you need to be able to have plausible deniability when it comes to promoting illegal actions.

      No. The point of the ruling is that if a judge & jury think that you're trying to encourage illegal activity, you'll be responsible for it when it happens.

      BitTorrent gets buy because Brian DOESN'T encourage illegal use of bittorrent. He may not DISCOURAGE it, and he may even utilize his technology that way, but he doesn't beat a drum for folk to use BitTorrent for illeg
    • The basic point of the ruling is that you need to be able to have plausible deniability when it comes to promoting illegal actions.

      Perhaps more wise would be not to promote illegal actions at all...

      Bitorrent, for example, is able to get away with aiding mass piracy because the primary use for it is to disseminate large binary files.

      Bitorrent does not cause mass piracy or get away with anything. They provide a file distribution tool that servers a specific purpose.

      The court just found that if you ru
      • It is news because it now applies the "accessory", "contributory", and "accomplice" sort of legality to things on the internet.

        That hadn't happened before. It sets a precedent. Now people cannot simply claim "common carrier" or "there's no way to know" status every time someone sues them for their service becoming a bed of "infringement"...

        It wasn't as simple as the bank robbery recruiting activity. There are legitimate uses for P2P. The court could've labeled P2P as being promoted for "infringement",
        • The court could've labeled P2P as being promoted for "infringement", and then all items that can be classified as P2P would be considered criminal

          I think this would upset Microsoft. They know own [internetnews.com] groove [groove.net], a "collaboration tools" for work teams disconnected from their corporate network. Uses P2P inside the work team. I'm sure they could also share mp3s with it ;)
        • It is news because it now applies the "accessory", "contributory", and "accomplice" sort of legality to things on the internet.

          Not really, there's not much of a difference between a real world accomplice and an online one.

          The key isn't whether it CAUSES mass piracy, but that if it is DESIGNED and PROMOTED to cause piracy. Big difference. Read the ruling.

          Exactly. Advertising Infringomatic 2000 w/ Wincash Gold plug in has always been a stupid idea. So has working HR for the mafia.

          EVERY news outlet go
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Plausible deniability may not be enough. It's far better not to promote illegal actions, period. Judges and courts aren't generally stupid, it's not a technology issue, it's a matter of intent.

      With grokster in particular, it was gross, not only did they encourage illegal actions, they bragged about it and used it as a selling point. EFF shouldn't defend these guys, I won't give them another dollar if they do.

      Bitorrent isn't in the line of fire yet but it very well could be. Attitudes need to cha

    • Manners (Score:2, Interesting)

      by vrimj (750402)
      There was an intersting exchange on Slate about Grokster. One of the points made it that the rule announced is basically a rule of etiquette. This seems a good analogy, and points out the limited effect.
      What will be intersting is when this ruling is put up against non-commerical products. Commerical speech is subject to a lower level of protection. Non-commerical speech is not as limited, and I don't know that applying this ruling to a non-commerical sitution would be more of a speech problem.
    • Grokster (and its workalikes) is designed, advertised, and used as a way of illegally distributing copyrighted materials. The court just found that if you run a service designed to help people break the law that you will have some amount of responsibility in the acts.

      You were correct up to this point. It disagrees with your point #1. The courts findings have to do with how you market your product, not how you design it.
    • I'm not saying that I think that "bullet makers" should be held responsible for the actions of a select few of their customers, but I do think that there is a certain amount of discretion that companies riding the razor's edge ought to employ.

      Or, in the words of George Bernard Shaw:

      What on earth is the true faith of an Armorer?

      UNDERSHAFT. To give arms to all men who offer an honest price for them, without respect of persons or principles: to aristocrat and republican, to Nihilist and Tsar, to C

    • The basic point of the ruling is that you need to be able to have plausible deniability when it comes to promoting illegal actions.

      Plausible deniability means you can create doubt about whether or not you did it. If you argue for both legal and illegal uses, that is not plausible deniability. To completely shut up about illegal uses aren't plausible deniability, because then no promotion of illegal acts have occured. Basicly what they said was "Don't promote illegal acts. If you do, you can be sued. If yo
    • I agree completely. I wrote the same thing in this essay [kuro5hin.org] on Kuro5hin.

    • so what about armor-peircing bullets? is the home defense against armored attackers realistic, or is it implicitly encouraging cop killing?
  • EFF is great! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tetrahedrassface (675645) * on Monday July 04, 2005 @11:50AM (#12979867) Journal
    We need to top piracy, but we should also encourage authors/songwriters/performers/composers, to do what the BBC did the other day.. Namely release a copyrighted work for personal use..

    Sure there were strings attached but when isn' there?

    I really don't understand why these companies think thier stuff is the only media to be had. They think they have us over a barrel, and currently they do..

    As a community we should shun copyright infgringement, but at the same time we should encourage the copyright holders to release their material for personal use..

    Thats how I do my stuff.. My songs are copyrighted, or CC, but they have "no profit" without permission clause.. You are free to have them as long as you don't sell them.. Its really really simple.

    Since I started posting my little songs up on the net I have contacted by BMI.. I am going to join, but only because they can help me if an artist took something i have written and recorded it/ changed it. etc and proffited without compensation or permision from me..

    I need the EFF to ensure that I have the right to make my stuff available. They fight the good fight for us honest little people.

    Long the the EFF!

    • Sorry for all the typos..im just passionate about this stuff..
    • We need to top piracy

      Yeah, we should start stealing babies! That's much worse than "stealing" software and music. That would top piracy for sure!
    • I don't understand what you need the EFF for in this case. You've always been free to give away your songs. The rule remains that as soon as you write something original, you have the copyright. While there are chargeable services around to help you establish said copyright, this is only to provide proof of copyright should it ever become a legal necessity to do so.

      As for what the BBC did, those works aren't copyright! Copyright on old Beethoven's symphonies ended a long time ago. The BBC Symphony Orchestr

    • The EFF is a joke (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MushMouth (5650)
      Grokster has such a great scam going. They build a piece of software, which they know darn is of questionable legality. They plan to profit in the millions on this software off they backs of copyright holders, see the internal memos. (have they offered anything to those who hold the copyrights both the RIAA people and the songwriters who have statutory mechanical royalties?). Then they get you schmucks to foot the bill for their legal defense. In the end the worse thing that happens is they go belly up
    • I really don't understand why these companies think thier stuff is the only media to be had. They think they have us over a barrel, and currently they do..

      No they don't have us in a stranglehold. Maybe they believe they do, or the public does, believing it is forced to buy certain items. But I think this may be just a result of history, and the role of copyrights. Basically, a game of numbers. How many people there are (world population), how many of those are creative spirits, and how well people are con

    • When supporting the EFF in words, how about with funding? There is theSummit 2005, on Thursday July 28, 2005 in Las Vegas...

      At the end of Black Hat [blackhat.com] and the beginning of DEFCON [defcon.org] this year is theSummit 2005 - bringing together DEFCON [defcon.org] & Black Hat [blackhat.com] speakers from past/present, as well as well known names in the computer security world. We all come together in a small, private venue for the evening summit to meet and discuss the important topics and socialize.

      Note that there will be no more than 200 tickets s
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Monday July 04, 2005 @11:51AM (#12979869)
    From TFA:

    We also look at the effect of piracy and ask whether piracy can ever be beneficial to Microsoft. This extension was motivated by analyzing data on a cross-section of countries on Linux penetration and piracy rates. We found that in countries where piracy is highest, Linux has the lowest penetration rate.

    I have an idea then: why don't they make Linux insanely expensive, put it on a CD with a small manual that has a shiny Tux hologram on it, require the user to read a long boring EULA and enter a very long serial number, then have the Linux box display a Teletubbies-like background and make it contact an activation server at www.kernel.org? That way, pirates will just jump on it, distribute it like there's no tomorrow on P2P, and Linux will eventually displace Windows.
    • by Daengbo (523424) <daengboNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday July 04, 2005 @12:10PM (#12979975) Homepage Journal
      That quote is BS, at lest in Thailand. Piracy is in the high 9x% (98.5 a few years ago), and Linux is huge there. Heck, my brother-in-law told me that he wants Linux because the Prime Minister uses it and says that Windows is old technology. You can't walk into a subway newsstand without seeing Linux for sale.
    • Some of these warezmongers are indeed that stupid. Hell, I bet MOST of them are that stupid.

      I have a "friend" who is a warezmonger. He tried to give me a copy of XP, but I told him I didn't use it. He tried to give me a copy of MSOffice and I have him the same answer. Ditto for Photoshop, Acrobat, and several other applications. Ditto for several hundred games.

      Finally, just as he was about to dismiss me as hopelessly moral, he offered me a copy of Redhat. I told him to go away, because I used Slackware at
  • by backslashdot (95548) on Monday July 04, 2005 @11:55AM (#12979894)
    We need broad public, and congressional pressure .. not judicial rulings. Remember judicial rulings can be overruled by constitutional amendments and other means such as judge replacements etc.

    A long term, permanent solution requires informing and winning the public.
    • We need broad public, and congressional pressure .. not judicial rulings.

      And just where is that to come from?

      The film and video industry alone directly employs 360,000 people, mostly in Los Angeles and New York. That excludes employment through independent contractors, support services and all distribution channels except the multiplex.Motion Picture and Video Industries [bls.gov]

      The industry is well organized and strongly positioned in the nation's cultural and financial capitals, red and blue states alike

  • The article comes to false conclusions:

    We also look at the effect of piracy and ask whether piracy can ever be beneficial to Microsoft. This extension was motivated by analyzing data on a cross-section of countries on Linux penetration and piracy rates. We found that in countries where piracy is highest, Linux has the lowest penetration rate. The model shows that Microsoft can use piracy as an effective tool to price discriminate, and that piracy may even result in higher profits to Microsoft!

    This m

    • How does that contribute profit to MS? If they use it as a price discrimination tool and raise the price in high priracy areas (presumably thinking that "low Linux penetration" means less competition), more people will pirate it!

      Two words: market share. Get market share now, crack down later. Piracy is a thing which they publicly oppose and denounce, but if they are copying anyone's work for free, they would much rather have it be Windows than Linux.

    • Linux has lower penetration in areas of high piracy because people who just want a free operating system rip off Windows instead of using Linux. How does that contribute profit to MS?

      It means that the people who are now stealing Windows, in five years, or ten, whenever they are better off and have their own assets at risk and their own wealth to protect and when the price of Windows is something they can afford, they will be familiar with Windows and be more likely to buy Windows than to switch to Linux.

      This has been a tremendously valuable tool for Microsoft over the years, in the US and abroad. Combined with their proprietary file formats it's helped them keep the market for competitors to Office down... someone who can't afford Office is a potential market for a $50 word processor, except that it's easier to "borrow" Office from the office... so there's no low-cost competition to Office any more and even free software has a rough ride.

      I suspect that's one reason they didn't put any effective copy protection in Windows prior to XP. Once they had the market penetration, they could go wild.

      I oppose piracy not because it harms big companies, but because it helps them.

      The same thing is true for music. There are some tremendous musicians out there doing amazing work, and promoting themselves through free music and listings on MP3blogs like 3hive. They're hurt by Grokster, because a huge chunk of their potential market is swallowed up by the P2P networks. I suspect that if the networks did go down, the labels would just find themselves facing a whole new threat from independants who are right now taking a bigger hit from P2P than the labels are.
      • Oh, yeah, I'd forgotten about that.

        Actually, looking back at the article, that quote was pretty tangential anyway and isn't impacted by the ruling. It's a "This is why free software developers oppose piracy" thing, which upon second reading I'm entirely in agreement with.
      • so there's no low-cost competition to Office any more and even free software has a rough ride.

        In my experience, that is not true. Two years ago, sending out resumes in PDF led to several "wtf? send .doc" replies, now there are none (here in Norway). OpenOffice has made great headway, and is happening in many new installations. They will not replace their old system like that (and old office suites do their job), but when the next cycle occurs, it is always being evaluated. OpenOffice 2.0 may very well be
    • This makes no sense.

      It makes perfect sense. Even Steve Ballmer [ufl.edu] agrees with it.

      How does that contribute profit to MS?

      Two words:

      increased brainshare.

      You might well have asked "Why do companies spend millions of dollars each year advertising their products - how does that contribute profit to them?"
    • Linux has lower penetration in areas of high piracy because people who just want a free operating system rip off Windows instead of using Linux. How does that contribute profit to MS? If they use it as a price discrimination tool and raise the price in high priracy areas (presumably thinking that "low Linux penetration" means less competition), more people will pirate it!

      I agree, Microsoft doesn't want to sell at higher prices in poorer countries--the kind of "price discrimination" they want is the reve

  • Piracy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jav1231 (539129) on Monday July 04, 2005 @11:58AM (#12979909)
    I'd agree that the OSS community does need to shun piracy. OTOH I think people take things that Richard Stallman says, that software should be free, and try to equate that with "they want to steal stuff." That M$ would profit from piracy I think has long been established. Accusations like this were made years ago concerning usage in Central America. It was believed that M$ had let a dependence on Windows grow then cried fowl on piracy. It's a very effective tactic that has been used for ages by other sordid groups. Now it seems to be the modus operondi in East Asia.
    • Re:Piracy (Score:3, Funny)

      by bobintetley (643462)

      then cried fowl on piracy

      What? Like "Chicken!" or something?

    • Re:Piracy (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Brandybuck (704397)
      OTOH I think people take things that Richard Stallman says, that software should be free, and try to equate that with "they want to steal stuff."

      That's not to hard to understand. If you really take his philosophy to heart, then you have to view any warez trading is merely "moral civil disobedience."

      The biggest difference between the Free Software and Open Source communities is that the first says "your software that you produce must be free", while the latter says "my software that I produce must be free
      • I'd agree. And I'm not the biggest supporter of RMS nor am I necessarily of the mind that all software should be free and no proprietary software should ever be installed on my computer. I use Linux and have for years, but I use MAC has my primary system now. But I got to choose Mac on its merits and that's where my feelings lie. I think there should be more choice and I think standards should be open. But I digress. I'd go further to say that RMS often hurts the community as a hole with his ideals but I th
    • "British man sacked for having opinion"

      No, British man sacked for voicing an opinion that is in direct contravention of his employer's main mode of business on national TV.

      I work for a telecoms company. If I went on Newsnight and announced that I was against telephony, and thought that everyone should communicate face to face, I'd not be too surprised if my employers started to doubt my suitability for my job...
      • I wouldn't want to work for anyone who doesn't respect my right to say what I want -- outside of work. And any company that got me in trouble for it would get sued for wrongful dismissal.
        • If you are a manual laborer then that's true and you will win in court. But if you are a decision-maker then different rules may apply. Nobody can afford a project leader who publicly says, for example, that his project is doomed to fail. The higher your position is, the easier it is to lose it.
          • It's one thing to be speaking for your company and another to be speaking as yourself. Companies don't own our every thought. I don't care what my position is, high up or not, I'd be suing. This is not the Corporate States of America - yet.
  • Irony (Score:5, Funny)

    by cscalfani (222387) on Monday July 04, 2005 @12:15PM (#12979993)
    Am I the only person on the planet who finds that the EFF's director's name Shari Steele (Share & Steal) is ironic?
  • by lheal (86013) <lheal1999@yahoRA ... minus herbivore> on Monday July 04, 2005 @12:23PM (#12980040) Journal
    The Grokster decision was Good.

    The ED of the EFF wants to stir up the masses and make us skeered the gummint gonna take away our P2P by letting the RIAA sue anyone who writes a P2P program or runs a peer-based download service.

    People who advertise a tool expressly for its illegal purposes were already liable for those eventual uses. The Grokster case merely, and rightly, applied that old-as-the-hills principle to file-sharing services.

    EFF is fearmongering for donations.
    • People who advertise a tool expressly for its illegal purposes were already liable for those eventual uses.

      Then why wasn't this a criminal case of aiding and abetting?
      • It was a civil case.

        With corporations, you generally don't see criminal prosecutions. Limited liability is one reason why people use corporations. I don't know whether the Grokster folks would have been held personally liable for their corporate actions.

        But hey, I'm not a lawyer.
  • Sorry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CaptainZapp (182233) * on Monday July 04, 2005 @01:14PM (#12980319) Homepage
    And with all the sympathy for the EFF and the fine work they're doing I just can't muster any empathy for the Grokster folks.

    The supreme courts decision is a sound one. Those folks tried to freeload on the work of others and only thought of the "non-infringing use [ha!ha!]" when they where dragged to court.

    Let me add that the direction copyright legislation is taking worldwide and specifically in the US is appaling, but that doesn't make it right to get rich quick on the expense of others.

    Even if those others are such a depicable, rotten and corrupt organization as the RIAA.

  • by 3seas (184403) on Monday July 04, 2005 @04:37PM (#12981234) Journal
    ... responsible for WMDs?

    For clearly what other possible intent could there be in the manufacturing and sale of such items?

    Or at least this is the thought that comes quickly to mind in reading about this grokster case.
  • I stopped donating to the EFF and let my membership lapse over a year ago because of the EFF's activities on behalf of "file-sharing" networks, websites, etc., whose primary focus is to encourage piracy. By support these groups and individuals, you undermine the credibility of the EFF and associate legitimate internet pioneers with profiteering sleazebags. As long as the EFF continues to support entities that are profiting from blatantly encouraging people to use their networks for piracy, I will not suppor
  • On several of my previous posts over the years, I would declare that all hell was about to break loose. Well it has now broken loose!

    Basically this is like the civil war, accept information age style. The battles will not be fought with soldiers, but with endless cross litigation, civil harassment, frivolous lawsuits, property confiscation, virus and worm attacks, spyware and spybots, and plain old fasion brow beating.

    There will be no north and south, this time only pro-ip and anti-ip, pro information c

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