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Thursday, August 25, 2005

US Supreme Court Ruling Against P2P Networks

When the US Supreme Court made the "intelligent" ruling that Grokster is somehow liable for copyright violations made users of their service they essentially killed, or at least severely impacted, the advancements in technology in P2P file sharing.

The ruling, which found P2P developer Grokster liable for illegitimate uses of its software, is deterring venture capitalists from injecting funds where they fear future legal action may make their investments worthless.

That shouldn't really surprise anyone. Picture yourself as a venture capitalist. You have a couple million dollars to invest in a new company or emerging technology. Unless you're a huge risk taker, even more so than the "average" venture capitalist, you'll find areas that have not been ruled against by the US Supreme Court to invest your money.

I agree that there needs to some sort of regulation in the industry, but don't feel this was a good move. There's a balance that needs to be found somewhere between the free-for-all Napster days and the current "don't share crap for the fear of being sued" mentality that's taking over.

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