Comments: MGM v. Grokster pessimism

Be of good cheer! The P2P freedom battle will be won, just not here. But I'm sure some Indian (or European or wherever) software companies will hire a few Americans to market their P2P innovations...

Posted by Ravi at January 24, 2005 11:59 PM

The current scotus is not "ultraconservative." Though on economic issues they have tended toward the libertarian side. On governmental intrusion and social issues, the court is moderate liberal.

Posted by Dead Parrot at January 25, 2005 04:33 AM

The great thing is that Grokster has already won. It is the record industry that is appealing.

Grokster also has shown that its P2P is not only capable of non-infringing uses but in fact is being used for such purposes.

How can the designers of the Grokster software prevent its user from using the p2p for arguably copyright infringing uses?

In other words whats the remedy the court will impose on Grokster if they do lose?

Posted by Brent at January 25, 2005 09:57 PM

Good analysis as usual, Seth. I love the comment about how "disruptive technology" looks to the courts!

The main question I see is whether they can successfully craft a legal standard that defines P2P networking in such a way as to distinguish it from HTTP and other protocols. I agree with everyone else that the California bill along these lines fails badly.

Contrary to the somewhat nihilistic opinion which is widespread in online circles, I am confident that the court won't intentionally do anything that would substantially hamper the use and development of the internet. They're not morons, and they're not going to cut off their nose to spite their face. If they can't find a way to limit P2P without hurting legitimate usage, they'll back off, I think. This is the one factor that gives me hope that Grokster can win.

Posted by Cypherpunk at January 27, 2005 06:18 PM