MGM vs Grokster

There’s a ton of stuff in the blog world on this topic – the Supreme Court case in which MGM and the government is trying to shut down Grokster.

And most of it, as you’d expect, is pro Grokster.

Here is a link to the del.icio.us Grokster tag which has links to a bunch of good coverage on the case.

Apparently most of the Supreme Court case depends on how much of Grokster’s usage is legal vs. how much is illegal.

I think this case must go in favor of Grokster and I am dismayed that our government would weigh in on the side of the past over the future, but I guess that is what conservative has come to mean.

The fact is that I use peer to peer file sharing networks for what I view to be legal uses all the time. 

I have a vinyl version of The Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street at my beach house.

I have a CD of Exile on Main Street at my house in New York City.

I don’t have a copy of it with me on vacation and I hadn’t burned it into iTunes.  I wanted to listen to it while I was reading the book.  So I went to Limewire and got it.  Is that illegal?  I doubt it.  I already own it twice.  I can’t imagine I need to buy it a third time.

The fact is that the whole notion of content ownership in physical form is an old idea.  It’s not relevent anymore.  Content is bits for the most part now.  And bits need to move from device to device.  Peer to peer is the best way to make this happen.  There are and will be more and more legal uses of peer to peer distribution systems every day.

If the Supreme Court falls into the same trap our mindless administration did, then it will be a really sad day in this country. 

We’ll have to go to China and India and Korea to do really innovative things.