Loss for Grokster, Not P2P

Parse the ruling, goes this school of though, and you’ll see a decision against Grokster and services that intentionally flaunt the rules but not a ruling against P2P. Lawrence Solum, John E. Cribbet Professor of Law, University of Illinois, told PC Mag, “This is an unwelcome verdict for the industry, and a positive ruling for P2P. … It might be viewed as a tactical loss in the short run for Grokster, but it’s definitely a strategic victory for P2P in the long run.” Why? The ruling is a blueprint for legal or non-infringing P2P.
That’s a sentiment shared by others, including Solum’s Picker MobBlog legal blogging colleague Lior Strahilevitz, who wrote,
“After Grokster it is certainly possible to imagine a P2P network that satisfies the inducement test for contributory copyright infringement.” He suggests the next big competition between P2P apps will be for greater anonymity as “a win-win for P2P developers seeking to expand their user populations.”
Doug Lichtman, who wrote an amicus brief for MGM and also blogs at Picker, first saw the decision as a win limited only to this situation. Later in the day, though, he saw only losers — except for the “bad actors’ who now have a road map. Copy infringement will continue, harming the studios. Legit firms will face inducement charges. “Read in light of today’s opinion, for instance, a laywer should translate Apple’s ‘Rip. Mix. Burn.’ into a simple ‘Sue. Me. Now.'”

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