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the Big Blog Company | Good decision
“Who yer callin' a sparrow, you schmuck?!”
The bird on the back.
September 24 2004
Good decision
David Carr • Bloglaw 
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Sometimes, judges hand down good decisions. Only sometimes, mind.

One such good decision was handed down last month in a US Federal Appeals Court when it was ruled that file sharing software (or ‘P2P’ as it is more popularly known) is not illegal.

The charge against P2P, that it is used to swap illegally copied material, is not untrue but that is no justification for declaring the entire technology illegal. It is rather like abolishing cutting implements because they can be (and sometimes are) used to commit murder.

Unfortunately, the response of the Recording/Media industry has been to rush off to Washington in an attempt to overturn the decision by including provisions against the possession of P2P software in the new INDUCE Act..

In my view, this is a deeply misconceived strategy. Attempts to stamp out new technologies are both iniquitous and self-defeating. Who can possibly deny that the film industry has made a king’s ransom from VCRs despite that fact that they are frequently used to make illegal copies of TV broadcasts?

The recording and media industries would be far better advised to devote their considerable talents and energies to (a) making the principled case for IP rights and (b) developing new business models to profitably exploit the new technologies from which we all benefit.

This is a short article I have written for the Centre for the New Europe which I think is somewhat germane to the world of blogging..

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