Monday, June 27, 2005

Supreme Ct: techies should read minds, be social engineers

MGM v. Grokster decided. unanimous. Against Grokster.

looks bad - if developers and inventors have to judge the possible later uses of their inventions before they are released.. reading minds? trying to predict how people will use it?

given the cool-ass history of artists (especially poor ones) re-purposing technology for their own creative aims .. plus the general history of most people doing that when it becomes easy for them to do so.. how could we really hold an inventor liable for what people do with their invention down the road?

I really want to get my hands on those mp3 mixers - would they have been invented if this decision had gone down a year ago? Would mp3 players? Would MP3 technology have been invented at all, in the unrestricted form we still (kind of) have it in?

check EFF for analysis soon.

shouldn't be suprised I guess..

My main frustration is that this decision transforms a possibly revolutionary (or at least balance-of-power-shifting) development into a tool only for subculture of elites and undergrounders.

I have no doubt that underground peeps will continue to develop and use new and interesting p2p technology, but the effect on the industry and on society of having it widely and cheaply (cheap also in terms of knowing how to find it and use it) available, available to fans, to your average person, will likely be muted. this means people's ability to usemusic can once again be dictated and defined by the owners of the industry.. unless it's too widespread to shift now (let's hope)!


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