Contributory and vicarious copyright infringement

It’s a landmark ruling! The decision of the US 9th Court to find Grokster not guilty to the charge of “contributory and vicarious copyright infringement” is the first sign that corporate manipulation of IP rights legislation is at last being reined in. It’s all on the Register today.

It is incredibly important that we understand the current war going on in the IP arena, with P2P, open source, copyleft, creative commons, et. al. on the one side, and the frankly evil forces of utter greed and cultural distortion of the Disney Corporation, the RIAA, MPAA and others. Particularly worrying are the moves to extend patents to software in the EU, and in the UK the movement to use “crown copyright” to bury bad news and prevent access to information.

I’m thinking about how best I can do something, however insignificant, about this, because even thought the 9th may have struck back, there’s a hell of a lot to do yet if our children are not to inherit a cultural wasteland controlled by corporate greed. Perhaps a cup of sugary tea would be a start.