James Governor's Monkchips

Courts Thumb Nose at Big Media on Copyright in P2P

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Talk about a story to put a smile on your face. I had to call out this doozer from the ripsnorting gossip hounds at the Register – Court tells RIAA and Congress to let P2P software thrive

Check out this warning to those seeking to lock everything down in their favour, trying to force through legislation that will augment their control of the means of distribution:

“The Copyright Owners urge a re-examination of the law in the light of what they believe to be proper public policy, expanding exponentially the reach of the doctrines of contributory and vicarious copyright infringement,” the court wrote. “Not only would such a renovation conflict with binding precedent, it would be unwise. Doubtless, taking that step would satisfy the Copyright Owners’ immediate economic aims. However, it would also alter general copyright law in profound ways with unknown ultimate consequences outside the present context.”

A quote like that makes me feel all warm inside. An outbreak of sanity! These judges must have been reading Lawrence Lessig. Perhaps they are just clear thinkers that could see past propoganda and Big Media lobbying from the likes of the RIAA. Essentially the court ruled that P2P, like video tape back in the day, has other uses than copyright infringement, and that it doesnt make sense to rule against a technology that opens up new possibilities for business and social interaction.

What also impressed me also about the ruling was the dot joining – Ashlee’s Reg story nails the anecdote about a band called Wilco, which clearly illustrates the hypocrisy of many record companies. It’s all about the artist, right?

Way to Go Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

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