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June 23, 2005
The Waiting Is the Hardest Part, Part II
Siva Vaidhyanathan puts a bit more meat on the bones of the news that Grokster isn't coming down today, including pointing us to The Sony Paradox -- copyright guru Jessica Litman's exploration of how we got here and where we're going:
Ultimately Congress is likely to be asked to rewrite whatever standard the Court articulates in Grokster. Motion picture studios and recording companies will likely insist on a rule imposing liability on any business that profits from infringement. High tech companies will likely insist on limiting any expansion of liability to businesses that profit from unlicensed peer-to-peer file trading. Under pressure from those industries, Congress is unlikely to draw a new line of general application that differs significantly from the one drawn in Sony. Drawing a sensible and robust line of general application would require Congress to revisit copyright remedies at a fundamental level. Industry lobbyists, seeking quick fixes to meet their immediate needs, will have little interest in such a project. Congress, therefore, will probably do what it has done before: enact a narrow rule that purports to fix the problem but proves unhelpful within months of enactment because technology has morphed in unanticipated ways.
Siva will be writing a reaction piece for Salon
after the ruling comes down, just as he did post-Eldred
Update: Looks like we have a firm date of Monday for the ruling, provided there are no atypical carry-overs for reargument.
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