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March 4, 2005
Conservatives on Grokster: Don't Legislate from the Bench
Via Fred von Lohmann @ Deep Links, the Eagle Forum in its brief [PDF] in the Grokster case (emphasis, mine):
In many ways, peer-to-peer technology is the printing press of the internet in distributing massive amounts of information quickly and cheaply to the world, and First Amendment rights are at stake. ... Citation of alleged copyright infringment by some users of the printing press is not justification for shutting down all presses, and certainly not before their powerful legitimate uses become fully apparent.
Legislating from the bench is unjustified in general, and is particularly ill-suited to new technologies that facilitate constitutionally protected speech and association.
...and the American Conservative Union and National Taxpayers Union in their brief
The Court should see this for what it isan attempt to leverage a lawful, but statutorily limited, monopoly over the distribution of expressive "works of authorship" into an unwarranted and anti-competitive monopoly over the distribution of innovative technologies. ...
Podcasting, of course, is merely one of innumerable examples of innovative technology that builds upon, and interacts with, the peer-to-peer distribution networks of the kind that Respondents have enabled.
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