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March 1, 2005
Venture Capital Speaks
Venture capital association brief [PDF] in MGM v. Grokster:
It is critical to understand that the threat of secondary liability from copyright suits is qualitatively different from most other sorts of business risk that investors can insure against or built into their risk calculations. The mandatory mechanism of statutory damages -- designed to discourage direct infringement -- has crushing implications for vendors of multi-purpose technologies, where damages from unforeseen users can quickly mount in the millions and even billions of dollars. ...Grokster and StreamCast are just stalking horses for the real targets of the Motion Picture Studios and the Recording Companies. They want to force fundamental, and hugely expensive, changes in the software and hardware that constitutes the Internet, by imposing an obligation on providers to design and engineer their systems to block unauthorized file sharing. Such an open-ended standard of liability would be a proverbial Pandora's box.
Via Fred von Lohmann @ Deep Links
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