The Grokster Ruling: Life, Death and the Bay City Rollers

by on June 27, 2005

The US Supreme Court’s ruling against Grokster came in today:

"We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting 
its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other 
affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting
acts of infringement by third parties"


So, to quote a Slashdot poster on the subject this afternoon:

In the United States, it's legal to sell armour-piercing ammunition: 
bullets whose sole purpose is to go through bulletproof vests; 
obviously a device designed to kill or maim human beings. The 
manufacturers to do not even make the pretense of proposing other 
uses for said ammunition. This activity is all fine and legal.

By comparison, a device that may or may not be designed for, but 
is certainly capable of, infringing copyright is deemed illegal. 
The manufacturers at least attempt the pretense of proposing legal
uses for the technology and make a somewhat-better-than-marginal 
case for its legit use. This is not fine or legal.

Question for the supreme court: do you really believe the copyright
of the Bay City Rollers first album is more deserving of legal 
protection than a human life?

Comments

And to quote the Register
‘the professional pundits and their pyjama-clad reflections in the “blogosphere” had been anxiously waiting for the Supremes’ verdict for a week… And off they went, like lab monkeys on meths sniffing fresh air for the first time’

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