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April 8, 2005

Grokster vs. MGM

Although this news is a bit dated, I'm sure that it's no less important.
If you're not already aware, the Supreme Court passed down a landmark decision that drastically alters the DRM discussion.
MGM and other members of the MPAA took a mighty blow as a result of the high court decision.

Save the Betamax.

As I discussed in the Free Culture essay, the fight against DRM legislation is much bigger than music downloads.
For instance, what if each time you loaded a CD-R into your Hewlett-Packard CD-Writer, that the hardware had the intelligence to discern whether or not the media violated copyright? If it was discovered that your media violated copyright, the writer would not only fail to duplicate the CD, but it would also phone the legal authorities.

Just imagine the chaos this would create for end consumers and the HP engineers. No longer would these engineers be able to use their human capital to develop innovative technologies. Instead, they would be forced to worry about policing customers who could potentially infringe upon copyrighted material. I'm clear that it's better to let the customers dictate which direction technology will grow, rather than allowing litigation to make this determination.

I'm glad the Supreme Court made the right decision. There is a chance that the MPAA could petition Congress to challenge the ruling; however, this would seem unlikely.

Stay tuned..

Posted by AG at April 8, 2005 1:40 PM