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What’s the Grokster case all about?

By August 20, 2004Uncategorized

Okay, by now everyone knows that the Grokster case was decided. And if you don’t know what the Grokster case is about then you probably don’t care what it’s about, even though you should care. If you don’t care about the Grokster case, or if you don’t know about the battle over P2P file-sharing services and other innovative technologies that companies like the RIAA or MPAA are trying to shut down, then you should be reading Free Culture. I just finished reading it, and I’m going to go back and read it again. The first line of the Grokster opinion sort of ties into the main theme of Professor Lessig’s outstanding book:

“From the advent of the player piano, every new means of reproducing sound has struck a dissonant chord with musical copyright owners, often resulting in federal litigation. This appeal is the latest reprise of that recurring conflict…”

Except the problem isn’t just about technologies that produce sound. And the real fight over copyrights and technology is just beginning. It would be nice if our politicians had input from the people most affected by this struggle (hint: it’s a segment of our population that cannot afford to hire expensive lobbyists, at least not without becoming more organized).

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