What Grokster Means to Me

All over the Internet, people are buzzing about the recent supreme court decision in MGM v. Grokster that said file sharing companies can be sued for the infringement that takes place using their software if they actively encourage it.

The punditry surrounding this decision has been huge and I loathe to add to it, especially since it’s not the main theme of this site. However, I do want to say one thing quickly.

As a supporter of the free exchange of art and ideas, I see this as a potential blow to technology that allows it. However, no matter how dangerous this ruling may be, a ruling, law, act or treaty is only as evil as the people who use it let it be. Laws are just tools, applied by human beings.

The sad fact is that we’ve already failed that test with regards to the DMCA. We’ll probably fail it again with this ruling and, as its effects trickle back down, it will be met with the same kind of contempt.

It’s a shame how a few people can so quickly destroy the common good.

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