Coverage on the Grokster ruling, which took place today, is widely available all over the internet and traditional media outlets. I haven’t had a chance to read the court opinion or anything but I’m sure it’s going to be interesting. Good place to start is here and mp3 of hour long Grokster press conference and Justice David H. Souter’s court opinion and Grokster Decision Worries Tech Industry.


“This decision won’t kill P2P sharing. Engineering students write P2P software in 11 lines of code as class assignments. The majority of Internet users use file-sharing software, and that’s not going to stop, no matter how many lawsuits against customers and companies the labels win. P2P will outlast today’s generation of technophobic record execs who are steering their companies to slow, spectacular suicide.
But what today’s decision will kill is American innovation. Chinese and European firms can get funding and ship products based on plans that aren’t fully thoughtcrime-compliant, while their American counterparts will need to convince everyone from their bankers to the courts that they’ve taken all imaginable measures to avoid inducing infringement. This is good news if you’re an American corporate attorney worried about job security, but not if you’re about to invent a new way to enjoy content. Both sides went to the court hoping for clarity on what is and isn’t legal in P2P, and instead, the Court tipped a fresh load of claymores into the decade’s most perilous legal minefield. “

“But knowing we were right legally really still isn’t the same thing as being right in the real world. We had that euphoria with the first Napster decision. I hope my former colleagues remember that. The result was lots of back and forth and leverage hunting on both sides and continued litigation and then a great service shut down to make room for less great services. And more legal victories didn’t bring more more market control no matter how many times it was hoped it would.”

“The technology world – from multibillion-dollar computer companies to garage tinkerers – faces new and potentially costly uncertainties with the Supreme Court’s ruling that inventors can be held liable if third parties use their products to infringe on copyrights.”