In case you’re not aware there is a current court case going on in the Supreme Court featuring the Entertainment Industry vs the creators of Grokster (and another p2p software client). The case started today and this is going to be a big one as far as IP is concerned in the US.
Right now things are looking pretty grim for Grokster. Why? Cause they’re making an assload of money from advertising on their software program. They claim they’re not responsible for what the users of the software do, which is true, but they also claim that a lawsuit will stifle technological advances.
Ok let’s get some things straight here. First, I’m no friend of the giant entertainment companies, but the artists SHOULD get paid for the work they do. Let’s face it, if you went into work everyday for a week and only got paid for 2 or 3 of those days, or even if you got paid for all but 1, chances are you would be pretty pissed off. Artists are the same way. Even if they don’t write their own music it is very difficult to sing in tune (if they do in fact sing), tour, do all the press crap they have to do, and then be in the studio for hours at a time trying to get recordings just right. And that’s for an Artist that DOES NOT write his or her own songs.
Next, stifle technology? Give me a break. I think it would be damn near impossible to slow down technological advances at this point. The grokster dudes just don’t want to lose their share of the pie. The illegal downloading of software, music, and games will go on regardless with some newer, sneakier client that someone else invents and gives away for free. The grokster assholes just want to make sure they keep making money off of it. I understand that you can use grokster for legit purpose – but everything they seem to cite in those purposes would be documents. So if that was their plan, why didn’t they just make it a MS Office document sharing program? Or why not only allow files of sizes 2MB or less? That would pretty much take care of any and all documents (especially if you zip them up) and most basic executable programs that com-sci dudes might want to spread around. I’ll tell you why – cause people don’t want that shit. They want music, games, movies and the like.
Finally the Artists defending grokster are the most severe case of idiots I’ve ever seen in my life. Chuck D? Give me a break! They claim that Grokster helps their exposure, I think one guy even said “even though it doesn’t give me that much of a boost, its nice to see my album sell 64 copies instead of 16.” Listen man, I have something to tell you. You want to sell more albums? WRITE BETTER MUSIC. Why don’t you focus on that instead of file sharing? Spend a semester at any music school and learn some basic theory and counterpoint, THEN do your songwriting. You could even just sit in your room and transcribe OTHER great musicians or listen to all kinds of music – that would even be free!
So basically my point is:
Entertainment Company: Sue their pants off, but don’t expect it to change anything.
Grokster et al: Run.
Artists: Stop whining and go practice. The better a musician you are, the better your music will sell.
Supreme Court: Good luck dudes. Don’t worry about technology coming to a screeching halt anytime soon.