It not a joke!!! It is the truth!!!

Giving people what they want: violence and sloppy eating

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Grokster 0 - media companies 9
mini me + poo
"The question is under what circumstances the distributor of a product capable of both lawful and unlawful use is liable for acts of copyright infringement by third parties using the product.

We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties,"
says the US Supreme Court in a unanimous decision.

21 years ago, the Supreme Court failed to ban video recorders - as the movie companies asked - because they had a legal use (timeshifting). Although p2p networks have a legal use, the defendants promoted the illegal use of their networks...

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I agree with the court's decision (I think it's fair even though I personally don't like it). I think it's ridiculous to make something clearly for the purpose of commercial music sharing, and have everyone enthusiastically install it for this purpose, to the point where articles are written about it, and then claim it was really for distributing your sister's garage band songs.

What I would see as bona-fide defences would be to make a more political claim that the music industry operates as a monopoly (this needs a separate lengthy explanation) and that small-scale pilfering by consumers ought to be tolerated as a reaction and limit to overpricing. I don't think that would win, but it would be a more accurate expession of popular opinion.

Or, if people used more traditional and generic tools, like search engines and web servers, to do their sharing, those tools would have a good "mixed use" defense. You woulld then have individual users infringing, but it would be hard to prosecute, say Apache, for making web servers avilable in people's PCs, or Google for indexing them.

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