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MGM v. Grokster Date Set

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the high-noon dept.

The Courts 163

An anonymous reader writes "The Supreme Court has set March 29th as the date for oral arguments to begin in the Grokster trial. As we all know the final ruling will have ramifications on the tech world well beyond P2P. A decision is expected by end of July."

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163 comments

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429127)

fp

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429219)

Wow! This has to be the firstest post EVARR !

I gave your MOM her first post! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429285)

That bitch sure loved getting her virgin white pussy fucked by my BIG...Black...DICK!!!!!

Re:I gave your MOM her first post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429320)

How can her pussy be virgin if she's a Mom ?
Is he Jesus ?

yeah, yeah; whoring~ (5, Informative)

tektek (829733) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429136)

Date Set for Morpheus/Grokster

By Jon Newton 1/20/05

March 29 is the date set for oral arguments in MGM v Grokster when the major movie studios and Big Music cartel will once again try to force a decision saying p2p companies can be held responsible if customers use their p2p software to infringe copyrights.

The entertainment industry has already lost once on this in District Court, and again at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

But Hollywood won't take an unequivocal court decision for an answer and is now trying to bludgeon the US the Supreme Court into reversing.

"The lower court rulings were based on the Supreme Court's landmark decision in the 1984 Sony Betamax case, which determined that Sony was not liable for copyright violations by users of the Betamax VCR," says the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) which is representing Morpheus owner StreamCast Networks.

A final decision is expected by the end of July 2005.

its not really about infringement (1, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429404)


The **AA are really suing because of copy infringement etc.

I think they are mostly pissed off that Grokster (and Napster back in the day) are making money off the P2P software.

The **AA must be so steamed that not only does Grokster make money off of ad sales, but they have the nerve to sell a 'pro' version.

Notice how they haven't gone after Justin Frankell for writing Waste (or Gnutella for that matter) and they've ignored Bram Cohen even though Bittorrent takes up a significant portion of internet bandwidth nowadays.

I'd love to see them sue every damn software company that writes FTP progs. They'll probably have to go after Microsoft too, because windows has a native (though shitty) ability to serve files.

Re:its not really about infringement (1)

Walkiry (698192) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429806)

They haven't gone after Bram Cohen yet. You just try first with the guys who are making money off the P2P program to see if you can put some liability on them, then keep sliding down the slippery slope until you can nail the guy whose program is used for notorious legal purposes (Linux ISOs, World of Warcraft, Anarchy Online, game demos in a few gaming websites come to mind). Just wait.

Re:its not really about infringement (1)

milohanrahan (787011) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429981)

Though Bram Cohen's been careful only to put his name to 'legit' uses of bt - the website has all this crap about distribution solutions for business - it's obvious even to the uninitiated what the potential is for abuse. Sooner or later, he's going to get it too.

1984 Decision (4, Interesting)

jeffkjo1 (663413) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429142)

While the original Betamax case was over 20 years ago now, there are three current justices on the Supreme Court who presided over the original case.
O'Connor and Stevens voted in favor of Sony
and Rehnquist voted against.

Source [wikipedia.org]

It will be interesting to see how this case turns out.

Re:1984 Decision (4, Informative)

jeffkjo1 (663413) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429161)

Some additional information.
Justice Kennedy was sitting on the 9th Circuit appeals court in 1983-84, when this case was originally heard at the federal level. The 9th Circuit voted against Sony, although I have been unable to find how individual Judges voted in the case.

Re:1984 Decision (0)

xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429268)

I says right in the Wiki article mentioned above, had you actually read it:

  1. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of Sony, with Stevens, Burger, Brennan, O'Connor, and White in agreement, and Marshall, Powell, Rehnquist, and Blackmun dissenting. The court held, among other things, that "The sale of the VTR's [video tape recorders] to the general public does not constitute contributory infringement of respondents' copyrights."

Re:1984 Decision (2, Insightful)

LittleBigLui (304739) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429298)

Funny... when i read "in favor of Sony" up there i immediately interpreted it as "against VTRs".

The public perception of Sony (well, at least my perception of Sony) seems to have changed a bit over the last years.

Re:1984 Decision (3, Informative)

ari_j (90255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429311)

As much as it would like to believe the contrary, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, to which the parent referred, is not the United States Supreme Court. Had you actually read the comment to which you replied, you would know that.

Re:1984 Decision (4, Informative)

David Price (1200) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429306)

The Ninth Circuit, like all the circuit courts of appeals, hears cases in three-judge panels. The panel in the Betamax case consisted of Judges Kilkenny and Canby, plus a district court judge named East who was sitting by designation (basically, district judges occasionally sit on appellate panels, and in this case, that happened.) That panel unanimously found Sony liable for distributing the VCR. (If you happen to have a law library nearby, the citation is 659 F.2d 963.)

The Ninth Circuit then denied en banc rehearing, meaning that it refused to rehear the case before a panel of all the circuit judges. The Supreme Court took the case and reversed the panel, 5-4.

Justice Kennedy was apparently never involved in the Betamax case at any level.

Re:1984 Decision (2, Informative)

ari_j (90255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429322)

Justice Kennedy was apparently never involved in the Betamax case at any level.

I concur. ;) That's what I found, scanning said citation of the 9th's opinion.

Re:1984 Decision (1)

trabisnikof (694721) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429176)

It'll also be unlikely that Rehnquist will still be presiding then, his health is failing, he is under chemotherapy and radiation treatments. I doubt that the Justices will find the Betamax ruling precedent for a pro-Grokster ruling.

Re:1984 Decision (1)

jm92956n (758515) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429201)

It'll also be unlikely that Rehnquist will still be presiding then

Rehnquist has made it clear that he will not actively participate in the court and he will abstain from every decision EXCEPT when the other justices reach a 4-4 tie; only then will he step in to cast the deciding vote.

Re:1984 Decision (1)

Catbeller (118204) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430099)

So, if the court splis pro-biz vs. pro-consumer, he will step in. So, no changes. We be screwed.

Re:1984 Decision (4, Insightful)

Zondar (32904) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429265)

"I doubt that the Justices will find the Betamax ruling precedent for a pro-Grokster ruling."

How could they not? In each case, the offending person is using a piece of technology to distribute copyrighted materials to which they have no right to distribute.

1) Two VCRs sitting next to each other, one set to record and the other to play, connected via RF cables.

2) One VCR attached to a wireless RF video distribution device set to play, ten VCRs attached to RF receivers set to record.

3) One computer playing a song via it's audio out jack, one computer recording via the audio in jack.

4) One computer hosting an audio file via a network, 100,000 computers receiving that file.

In each case, the mechanism of distribution changes, but the core principle stays the same. The Betamax case found the creators of the distribution mechanism not liable for the unlawful use (copying copyrighted materials without permission) of it's users.

Of course, there are huge differences. The original case somewhat hinged on the right of Fair Use -- a right the **AA has been trying to destroy at every turn. They believe the only "fair" use is when you pay them for each playback of the content.

In addition, there was no such thing as the DMCA. We can only hope that if / when they try to bring up the DMCA as an argument, the court finally gets a whack at it and declares it unconstitutional (or at least inconsistent with pre-existing fair use right declarations).

Re:1984 Decision (1)

Alsee (515537) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429583)

Actually this case should be stronger than the original Betamax case. In Betamax the MPAA was fighting the very notion that timeshifting was fair use. In this case the RIAA has stipulated in court that a wide range of content and P2P use is indisputeable legitimate. Not merely fair use, but simply non-infringing.

-

Re:1984 Decision (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429341)

Just a note to those discussing this - the Betamax case was before Sony was seduced by the Dark Side, and the company was the "good guy" in that case. Is Sony any part of the RIAA or MPAA? Has this come full circle?

Both (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429350)

Is Sony any part of the RIAA or MPAA?

Now that Universal and Warner have sold off their record label assets, Sony is the only company that is both a major record label and a major movie studio.

Re:1984 Decision (1)

stoborrobots (577882) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429473)

This really came "full circle" a few years back in a bunch of lawsuits nicknamed "Sony vs Sony". See this cNet article for details [com.com].

(The gist of it: Sony Music, as a member of the RIAA was up against the Consumer Electronics Association, of which Sony Electronics is a member, as well as some companies which Sony is an investor...)

So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429395)

The court will rule on what the feel congress' intent was with the copyright act.

So congress will just rewrite the law to suit Hollywood simple as that.

This court is not looking at whether p2p is a constitutional right .. merely whther the law written by congress is properly interpreted!

It's important to understand this!

Re:So what? (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429478)

So congress will just rewrite the law to suit Hollywood simple as that.

Not quite as simple as that. This fails to note that today (unlike when the CTEA and the DMCA passed) there is substantial indistry opposition to such extensions. So there will be another huge fight like there was over INDUCE, CBIPA (or whatever it was that would have required DRM in cruise missiles)...

Does Rehnquist own a VCR? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429431)

Does Rehnquist own a VCR?

Anyone know? He voted against VCR's didnt he?

When will they give up ? (1)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429149)

>The entertainment industry has already lost once on this in District Court, and again at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

So this is the third attempt and one at the supreme court too.. When will these people give up ?. Of course the Betamax case [eff.org] clearly puts the distributors of the technology (which has clearly legal uses) out of the danger area.

They already have a date for the decision (July 2005), now if only they'd tell what decision they paid for :)

Re:When will they give up ? (1)

Rosyna (80334) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429241)

Uhm.. They'll give up based on what the Supreme Court says. There is no higher court in the US. And anything they say becomes law. They are the ones that keep US Citizen's rights and the ones that revoke them.

Re:When will they give up ? (1)

rilian4 (591569) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429441)

...They'll give up based on what the Supreme Court says. There is no higher court in the US. And anything they say becomes law....
Does anyone have a constitutional problem with this statement? I for one am forced to agree with the poster that in fact the Supreme Court's decisions have, in effect (if not in practice also) basically made laws. However, the Constitution clearly grants the power to make laws to congress.

I am disturbed by the idea that judges base their decisions in a case, not on laws themselves but on other judges decisions! This then leads other judges to rule on a case stretching the meaning of the original law. This then repeats until the original law itself is irrelevant and only interpretations of that law or "precedent" is meaningful to any court. Something is not "The law of the Land" simply because of a court ruling. I feel that the lines of separation of powers between the courts and congress have been eroded and that the courts in today's United States have the real power in government. The process of removing a corrupt judge is so difficult at most levels that it rarely happens and many judges that are elected run w/ no opposition so they cannot be removed by vote. Yet the court has the power to negate anything congress does on a whim and the courts use decisions to basically create laws or force a congress to do so. This to me is a complete overstepping of their original charter in the constitution.

Re:When will they give up ? (2, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429303)

Of course the Betamax case clearly puts the distributors of the technology (which has clearly legal uses) out of the danger area.

Betamax was a pure hardware device, a simple video recorder. It was not a program library, a catalog, or a distribution system. Dangerous to assume that the court will regard the Betamax decision as controlling.

Re:When will they give up ? (2, Insightful)

Alsee (515537) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429650)

The Betamax ruling was that the maker of a product - and the court repeatedly used the word product - which was "capable of substantial noninfringing uses" was not liable for any infringment which may or may not be commited by people who use that product.

I'd be absolutely facinated to hear any logic how and why a different liability standard would exist between "software products" and "hardware products".

The only reasons I can see for this new case to go any differently would be emotional bias (if they find P2P a less sympathetic defendant than VCRs) or simply because there are different judges not and they want to write different law. But in either case I don't see how they could reasonably do that without effectively throwing VCRs back into contributory infringment for the infringment committed with them. But who knows? Maybe we'll wind up with an "infringment tax" slapped on all new VCRs.

-

Perhaps all we need to do is rename p2p... (2, Interesting)

gameboyhippo (827141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429151)

I've got an idea. We could rename p2p to something else. You know, kinda like how solicitors get around the no-call list. After all, they're not soliciting, their giving me "curtisy calls".

/. loves p2p (3, Informative)

Benaiah (851593) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429165)

I think most /.ers will agree with me that p2p has become the life blood of the internet. Even look at the World of Warcraft patch distribution system. Its p2p! Should they be sued? Im sure many of the unenlightened solicitors would say AYE!

Re:/. loves p2p (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429366)

p2p just happens to be the only real working form of micropayments(short of adverts).

Re:Perhaps all we need to do is rename p2p... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429276)

ass2ass?

Re:Perhaps all we need to do is rename p2p... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429373)

How about TPFKAP2P (The Program Formerly Known As P2P)?

Re:Perhaps all we need to do is rename p2p... (1)

goodzilla (814324) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429417)

monsters Inc.... WE SCARE COS WE CARE :) P2P We SHARE cos we care... lets call it love spread or some random crap ... like carezilla hahhahaha

Re:Perhaps all we need to do is rename p2p... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429987)

Some possible names:

El Dorado
Salvation
Normandie

On the same vein, i believe the RIAA/MPAA should change name to Atlantis.

I read the definition.... (2, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430279)

...at least the one in the CA bill recently, and essentially a P2P program is defined as a program capable of both upload and download. Like say your browser (http upload forms), email client, basicly everything people consider to be the Internet. The only thing that wouldn't qualify are the dumb terminals of the 70s. It is a blanket coverage to take out whichever application bugs them.

Kjella

Hopefully the Supremes will get it right... (1)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429155)

and put the smackdown on the **AA for good.

This could easily turn into a case as important as Sony/Betamax. Probably even more so because it will be a more recent ruling and will become cited more often on this topic since it basically deals with the same issues.

Independent film (4, Funny)

saskboy (600063) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429168)

I hope an independent film maker is making a documentary about this event. I mean it's perfect for an Indie film It's got a big bad business, a large maybe-bad business, and they are duking it out in the courts.

And after it's all over, they can distribute it in OGG format using Bit Torrent.

Re:Independent film (1)

klang (27062) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429540)

Yes, an independendt film maker doing a documentary could easily get distributed using BitTorrent, but..using footage from anywhere [theglobeandmail.com] would stab him in the back echonomically... oh, the irony

Re:Independent film (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429853)

Yes, an independendt film maker doing a documentary could easily get distributed using BitTorrent, but..using footage from anywhere would stab him in the back echonomically... oh, the irony

Completly ironic, considering that this is exactly the opposite of what copyright (at least in the US) is ment to achieve.

So (1)

Jim_Callahan (831353) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429923)

which one is big bad, and which one is maybe bad? I'm guessing that since grokster has a large base of users, is probably over 99% illegal, and has a rather foolish name, it's the "big bad". Meanwhile, the completely legal company MGM, whose products don't suck most of the time, could still be evil were there to be a twist in the story, so it comes out to a maybe.

I hate courts (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429169)

It's going to take them four months to write "Shut the fuck up, MGM"?

patent parallel (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429170)

doesn't this case have the same problem as the s/w patents case?

IE, a s/w program is simply an algorithm. If you invent an algorithm and someone else uses that for something 'bad', then what has that got to do with you?

Think of how many mathematical formulae were used to invent the atom bomb. Is/are the invertor/s of those formulae somehow responsible?

Re:patent parallel (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429204)

Yeah, don't even think about picking up that knife either. Or crowbar. Or ethernet cord. Or rock. Or pinecone - hell, even that stick and your shoe. And don't you fucking dare pick up that piece of paper. You MIGHT just give me a papercut!

Re:patent parallel (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429345)

IE, a s/w program is simply an algorithm. If you invent an algorithm and someone else uses that for something 'bad', then what has that got to do with you?

plenty, if you market a program for a particular use, or are in a position to control how a program is used, or have reason to know it will be abused.

courts as a rule don't think in terms of abstractions, but of actions and consequences in the real world.

lol (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429174)

First, there was a plan: how to bring together the different development groups at work? My boss said there was a sort of tension he thought could be eased by some social interaction. Not easy. Almost all of the different development groups despised each other, each thinking its "art" was more important and eloquent than the others'.

There was the kernel extension developer group, coding mostly in C and some PowerPC and x86 assembler. They worked on making our PCI board work with Linux, *BSD, Mac OS X, QNX, and Solaris. They worked "special hours," coming in at one and staying late, supposedly, until seven or eight at night. They enjoyed Red Bull and had a penchant for ThinkGeek t-shirts and cracking jokes about Win32 API calls and the dreaded Blue Screen of Death.

We had XML developers too. They worked on our website, documentation formatting, and simple apps to configure the driver software. They used HTML, XSL, JavaScript, and a bit of Java. They typically dressed casually, drank coffee and tea, and liked to work straight from the spec: no "Learn XSL in 30 Days" books were to be found in their cubicle farm.

Then we had the guys who wrote full-out UNIX apps. These guys and the products they wrote had been acquired from another company, and were the source of most of the tension: they'd never really been integrated into our group except that they were physically present with the rest of us. They all had beards or mullets or long, unwashed hair. Many wore suspenders or the afore-mentioned ThinkGeek clothes; some even had Penguin tatooes or small C app code tattooed on them. Their cubicle farm was known for the bleating laughter that exploded when one of them found a "silly" bug on someone else's code, and for the rotten, fetid stench that could only be compared to three-day-old shit reeking from inside a rotting corpse's abdominal cavity.

So, in order to get the guys to "know each other" my boss had asked me to organize a during-hours, alcohol-friendly party. My ideas ranged from a keg or two to live entertainment, AKA strippers. But as to what to get them to actually talk to each other in a human manner I had no clue. So I let it go til the last minute and decided to let my inherent creativity mull it over in the back of my head.

When the day of the party had arrived, the catering company brought in a few trays of lunch meat, chicken, pizza, and side dishes, I had picked up the kegs (all four) from the local brewery, and the big-screen TV and DVD were set up ready to blast the Matrix into the eyes and ears of my co-workers. The eagerness in the the air was encouraging and I thought that loosening up and smiles going on even now were a good sign. I even saw some of the guys who'd known each other previously begin to bunch up, bringing along the co-workers they knew from everyday work.

The first thing everyone did was hit the food line, loading up their plates and grabbing a cup for beer to wash it down with. A few approached me and thanked me for the food; it seems appeasing the belly really did tame the beast. After a few minutes of silence and eating and a few second and third courses, they guys were ready to sit down and be entertained. After asking if anyone needed anything else before the movie started, the lights went out and the Matrix began playing. I heard a few enthusiastic comments and jokes being told.

About half-way through the movie I noticed a lot of the guys, especially from the UNIX app group, were getting up and presumably going to the restroom. No suprise, as the second keg was history by now and the third was probably half-way gone. I also noticed some of the guys bumping into things and stumbling. Alcohol's the social lubricant, eh? Well, not long after, my bladder beckoned and I answered. As I made my way to the restroom, I had a self-satisfied smile on my face: my little plan was working, my boss would be happy, and it might even a Christmas bonus or a promotion (even if in title only).

Well, as soon as I pushed the restroom door open, I knew something was wrong. The smell of vomit was pretty strong and I hoped that it'd only been the work of one guy. But the smell was so pungent! After standing at the urinal, waiting for the golden flow to commence, I stood in silence. It was then that I heard grunting. Listening intently for a few seconds, I hoped whoever was upchucking their beer and munchies wasn't leaving a huge mess for the cleanup crew. After pissing and still hearing the noise, I approached the stall the that moaning was coming from.

"Hey, you alright in there, man?" I asked cautiously.

I was met by silence for a moment. Then I heard a few grunts and concealed giggles. Something was up in there. It was then that I heard what sounded like crying and more moaning. What the fuck? I decided I needed to see what was going on. I didn't want this party to come crashing down around my ears. I pushed the door open hard and then gasped as I saw the most sordid, disgusting thing I'd ever seen in my life.

Standing on either side of the toilet were two if the UNIX app coders, their beards caked with vomit, their pants in puddles around ankles, with erect penises wagging in the air. Doubled over the toilet, his head nearly dunked in the swill, was one of the XML developers. His pants were also around his ankles and what appeared to be a combination of blood and semen were dripping from his torn, ragged anus. He was covered in vomit from head to toe, and he was crying hard into the toilet bowl, its echo an eerie accompaniment to the awful scene I was seeing but not believing.

They two Linux coders slowly turned and looked me straight in the eye, evil grins smeared across both of their bearded faces.

"What in Fuck's name are you doing!?" was all I could force out of my mouth. I still wasn't believing I was seeing this.

Saying nothing, both of the Linux coders rushed me. Being in such a tense state, I threw both of them off and made a break for the door. And the fucking thing wouldn't open. In the follow two seconds that seemed like an eternity, the door was pushed open my way and two more Linux coders came in. Upon seeing what was happening, they immediately grabbed me and were joined by the first two. I was trapped. Then the one guy, who was a dead-ringer for Rasputin, the mad Russian monk, gazed into my eyes and said in a feminine voice, "Looks like Mr. Party is gonna get a taste of the real action!" and cackled insanely.

Cold sweat spurted from the pores on my foreheads and cheeks as I was dragged by the four stinking, polluted hippies into the same stall their previous victim was in. Rasputin spoke again, excitement in his voice.

"Thanks for the pizza and beer, now it's time for the weeners and buns!"

Immediately the first two slogged their pants off and got down on their knees. The other two put there knees in my back and held me on top of the first victim, who now appeared to be unconscious. I heard their belts coming off and their zippers coming down, and some rustling around told me that their pants were coming down also. Then the first two started sucking off the other two, in what I could only call the most enthusiastic blowjobs I'd ever seen in my life. The moaning and slurping sounds turned my stomach and I retched. I could see why the first guy might have vomited.

Eventually Rasputin and his cohort started moaning more loudly, and one of them said "fifteen seconds." This was followed by a series of rapid-fire belching and burping that shook me up and down on the guy underneath me. After about fifteen seconds, all Hell broke loose. The two guys behind me started vomiting on the two guys fellating them and I saw cumshot shoot and mix with the vomit all over the two cocksuckers' faces. It was then that I almost lost. I finally did refund when the first two vile fluids were followed by streams of piss. I heard swallowing and dripping and I yacked all over their first victim's head.

Rasputin cried out like a little girl in ecstasy. "Oh god, I'd been waiting for that all night! This party fuckin' roxorz my coxor!"

Now it was my turn, it seemed, as all four started tearing my pants down. Chunks of vomit-piss-semen fell on my back and soaked through my t-shirt. It was reviling. I shuddered as I felt their cold, clammy hands in my ass-crack and a very indelicate reacharound on my ball-sack. At this point I had no idea who was doing what, and I was just praying that I'd wake up and realize I was drunk and dreaming a la nightmare.

Just then I heard the door boom open and my boss's voice fill the air. The stall door was open and he saw right away the turgid scene transpiring in front of him. His voice was immediately followed by two others, XML developers I knew, and they flew into the stall as best they could and began a fight to save my asshole. The poor guy underneath me had just woken up and started struggling and the extra weight of eight other bodies in the stall must have been suffocating.

"It'll be all right, buddy," I offered to him.

Within thirty seconds I was to my feet and was delivering the most heart-felt kicks to the guts of the rapist faggot Linux coders. Between me, my boss, and the two XML developers, we had the gang of four knocked out in a sloppy, excrement-filled pile of hairy body.

It's now been a month since this horrible incident and I am in regular therapy with a sexual abuse counselor. In response to the terrible outcome of this party, my boss toyed with the idea of selling the group off to another company, sans the four hippies who'd been fired and arrested. After considerable urging on my part, and very open ear from my boss, the whole group was dissolved and the Linux coders lost their jobs. Their product was delayed by a year as my boss began hiring a new development team. We'd found evidence that the whole group had been involved in the planning of the gang- bangs and that had it not been for us everyone would have had a "turn" in the stalls.

If there's one thing we learned from this tragedy is that Linux coders, users, and advocates are desperate cock-lusting homosexual faggots that can't be trusted in any situation, let alone a restroom setting. You've been warned.

On the positive side, though, the whole incident brought solidarity between the other groups in the company and I am now on schedule to get a huge Christmas package that not only includes a gigantic bonus but a month's worth of paid time off and a real promotion.

We're going to lose. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429196)

I love America and everything, but he who has the deeper pockets ultimately wins.

Re:We're going to lose. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429254)

yeah, the day that the USA was for 'the people' have long gone.

Hrm. I wonder if there was a signficant turning point...

The day corporations were considered people. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429286)

That was pretty much the beginning of the end.

Re:We're going to lose. (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429977)

Since the "network neighbourghood" of microsft can be seen as an p2p application. It remains to be seen who will win eventually.

The 9th Circuit was spot on in this case (5, Informative)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429197)

The following quote at the end of the 9th Circuit's opinion really sums up the situation quite well.

"Further, as we have observed, we live in a quicksilver technological environment with courts ill-suited to fix the flow of internet innovation. The introduction of new technology is always disruptive to old markets, and particularly to those copyright owners whose works are sold through well-established distribution mechanisms. Yet, history has shown that time and market forces often provide equilibrium in balancing interests, whether the new technology be a player piano, a copier, a tape recorder, a video recorder, a personal computer, a karaoke machine, or an MP3 player. Thus, it is prudent for courts to exercise caution before restructuring liability theories for the purpose of addressing specific market abuses, despite their apparent present magnitude."

Re:The 9th Circuit was spot on in this case (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429272)

The only problem is that the 9th Circuit is the most-reversed circuit there is. Their logic here is good and their result is just, but that doesn't mean they won't find out that they were wrong once again.

In percentage? (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429301)

The only problem is that the 9th Circuit is the most-reversed circuit there is.

Is that by number of cases reversed, or is it by percentage of cases reversed? Some circuits just hear more appellate cases than other circuits. For example, if you have 100 cases and 17 reversed in one circuit, isn't that better than 10 cases and 4 reversed in another circuit?

Re:In percentage? (2, Interesting)

ari_j (90255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429359)

I'm not certain if it's volume or percentage. I'm not the one who came up with that saying. However, as a general rule of thumb the Supreme Court won't even hear an appeal unless there is a circuit split on the issue (or they think it's just downright wrong, but that happens less often). What I suspect is the case is that the 9th circuit is the most common one to split from other circuits, and is the one most often found to be in the wrong in those situations.

But I'm certainly no scholar of 9th Circuit history. And yes, I'd rather be wrong 17 times out of 100 than 4 out of 10. In fact, I'd rather be wrong 50 times out of 100 than 4 out of 10. Wrong half the time out of 100 means you are often wrong, but you are a hard worker. Wrong 40% of the time out of 10 cases heard means you are not only wrong pretty frequently, but you are lazy, and I hate laziness and dishonesty more than any other human traits.

Re:In percentage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429484)

I'm not the one who came up with that saying.

You ARE the one who said:

The only problem is that the 9th Circuit is the most-reversed circuit there is.

It's only a couple of places back up this thread, you can't have forgotten it already. It isn't a "saying" it's a factual claim that you made. It's either true or not. It seeems that you have no idea which so why did you say it?

Re:In percentage? (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429506)

However, as a general rule of thumb the Supreme Court won't even hear an appeal unless there is a circuit split on the issue (or they think it's just downright wrong, but that happens less often).

I thought they based it on whether there was inconsistance in the district rulings (i.e. if the 4th and 9th districts disagree on leagl theory, then it is a good time to have a ruling), or if substantial constitutional issues are at stake. The court could just be afraid that this will start popping up everywhere else given the rash of john doe suits the RIAA is filing.

Re:In percentage? (1)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429525)

given the rash of john doe suits the RIAA is filing

That's really a completely separate issue though. In those cases the RIAA is accusing individuals of directly committing copyright infringement. At issue in the Grokster case is whether P2P networks are guilty of contributory infringement based on the actions of those users.

FYI (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429198)

Wake up white people, Linux is dominated by blacks and jews.

Black pussy is good. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429271)

Ever fucked a Black slut? You are in for a real treat. The Negro vagina is bred for superior sexing. Once you slip your aching cock into a sopping wet Black cunt, you will never want to fuck a Caucasian or Asian again. There just is something about the pussy wall construction in Blacks that creates the ultimate fuck experience.

Find you a Black lover, you will be satisfied every night. Black women can (and want to) fuck daily with no complaints.

Re:Black pussy is good. (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429426)

WHAT THE FUCK?? How the hell did we get from copyrights to objectifying women, racism, and general stupidity? Thoughts like this are why I don't like stating my sex and race online, and why I think the human race is screwed in the long run.

Buddy, you've been trolled. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429587)

Let it go man, you'll only encourage them. It's probably some 14-year old agnst ridden hormone-crazy kid anyway. Eventually they grow out of it.

Oral arguments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429261)

Oral arguments? Sounds like the title of a porn film set in a courtroom. Maybe that's what they're really doing? It will be like Eyes Wide Shut, but with penetration. And no masks.

Other companies (2, Interesting)

ICECommander (811191) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429263)

Why don't we sue knife, gun, and tobacco manufacturers as well? Oh wait...

Re:Other companies (1)

JNighthawk (769575) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429758)

The use of a gun is to kill someone. There is no other use for it. The gun isn't made to change the channel on a TV, or open up a can... it's made to HURT and KILL people. Same with ciagarettes.

Re:Other companies (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429871)

The use of a gun is to kill someone. There is no other use for it.

At least until someone invents the idea of a sport involving shooting at a target. Might even become party of the Olympics :)

Re:Other companies (2, Interesting)

Jim_Callahan (831353) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429967)

Yes, because the tabacco plant was all "Dude, let's evolve so that we're dangerous to the human chemical system, then make them smoke us". And wtf is this 'hurt' crap? Most guns are designed to kill things, which is often perfectly legal (raccoons, deer, national enemies). Hurt, my ass. If your target is still alive to hurt, you've screwed up, bud.

Re:Other companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429996)

No, the aim of a modern military weapon is to wound. A wounded person needs several other people to take care of them where as a dead person needs no one.

Unless you're in the American military of course where they'll sacrifice many lives just so not to leave dead American bodies around.

Re:Other companies (1)

lifer_red (724134) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429995)

Actually a number of people in the world use guns to defend themselves from wild creatures, and to get food. Quite closed thinking to consider it's only for killing humans.

Cigarettes are used to calm people (apparently, I've never felt the need myself). Social enjoyment and all that. The death is well-warned to the consumer (in Britain anyway). Personally I don't think much of cigarettes, but the consumers (through taxes) do pay a fair bit of the public health bill.

God help us (2, Insightful)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429362)

God help humanity if Groakster loses. They are not just fighting for rights, they are fighting for the future of communication itself.

Re:God help us (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429430)

Shut up. What the hell are you talking about.

Re:God help us (1)

lineman60 (806614) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429749)

I am no legal scholar but to the parent, Well I don't quite take the statement that far, I do see this case a very important. I don't see this as not being much different then the Marvel V. NCsoft. They both produced a way by which IP law was violated.

if the creator of a product is held liable for the actions of its users and Groakster loses. Then marvel should win its case because NCsoft http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/01/19/ 2143224&tid=209&tid=187&tid=123 [slashdot.org] did create a way for ip law to be violated. and we end up with Crayola being sued by the MPAA because some kid made a Spiderman poster. if Sony losses then Marvel should loses too, (or at least Marvel has a difficult time to porve its case)because NCsoft is not reasonable for what there players do. I can see this case having a far reaching impact. This is just one immediate impact I think this case could have.

My 2 cents

Re:God help us (2, Insightful)

Esteanil (710082) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430128)

Nah. Not the world. God help America if Grokster loses. It'll just mean you've voted yourself one more step off the map. Hollywood is losing it's glory. The big things coming up are European and Asian movies. And with digital videocameras the way they are now, we can make movies *cheaply*! So why worry about piracy? The DVDs will sell well anyway, and there isn't anywhere near as big an investment as in yesterday's movies. CGI and special effects is getting really cheap too. Also, we don't have the american moralism. We can make movies with lots of nudity in them, and still be within what americans would call PG13. When Bush won again, I think most of the world started preparing for the time when America will no longer be a significant world power... It'll be tough economically for a while, but we *can* make it. It's not that we don't like Americans, it's that so many of us simply can't quite believe you're gonna survive as a world power with your empire-building efforts. You've already lost in Iraq, or so it seems. What, Iran next?

They say that P2P software is always used to..... (1)

Cyanidedd (756344) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429448)

Just one comment... Movies made me do it.

Re:They say that P2P software is always used to... (2, Funny)

Beolach (518512) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429528)

No no no, it's the video games fault now, you're like 5 or 10 years out of date.

Prediction: We will lose. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429463)

This is, after all, the USA. After what happened in November, I have given up all hope of ever seeing developments in this country that would not appall any reasonable person. The ship is sinking, people.

I'm dying to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429469)

I'm dying to know if Rehnquist (who voted against BetaMax) owna VCR.

Can someone in the media ask him. After all he almost screwed everyone by banning the thing, cause, well the damn thing doesnt have any non infringing uses that he could think of.

If he's a VCR owner, I'm sure he doesnt even realize the hypocrisy.

Sigh.

Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11429554)

When your product is used to kill people, you are not at fault. However, if it intrudes on profit margins (or is a convienent scapegoat) you are liable. Excellent. God bless America(tm)

We rule the world! (1)

lovesignal (705870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429614)

As we all know the final ruling will have ramifications on the tech world well beyond P2P Please, keep the dimensions in check :-) USA != tech world Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose...

Petition quote (4, Informative)

Piquan (49943) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429637)

I've been reading the documents involved, particularly the Ninth Circuit's decision and the **AA's petition for cert (request that the Supreme Court hear the case). It's been a while since I read Betamax, so I'll have to go back and read it next.

But quotes from the petition are sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes absurd. Most of the petition is **AA saying, "The Ninth Circuit misinterpreted Betamax! Look at the Seventh Circuit; they got it right!" Much of the arguments in the **AA's petition revolve around the argument that since the network could have been designed to block infringement, it should. (Personally, I doubt that the network could be so designed, since not even the mighty **AA has demonstrated an ability to effectively distinguish infringing uses. But most of the arguments have talked about the ability to block, rather than the technically more problematic ability to identify.)

One of the sidesplitters in the petition is this:

Similarly, under the Ninth Circuit's test a defendant's ability to block infringement is rendered irrelevant except in the narrowest circumstances.

The narrowest circumstances? The circumstances we have to consider are those on what we call planet Earth, not whatever alternative dimension that the **AA would like to live in. Indeed, the problem they have is that the "ability to block infringement" is only considered relevant if they actually, in real life do have such ability.

Oh, well, those are narrow circumstances indeed; we should instead consider if, in any imaginable world, they might have such an ability, and bend reality to match that world. Sorry, guys, we have to consider actual ability to block, not what they might have if they set themselves up exactly like Napster.

Most of the petition reads like this. The **AA feel that, because the network was designed without central control, that's evidence that they're guilty. It should have been designed with central control, and should prevent any infringing uses, because that would make the **AA happy. Because it's not designed that way, then Streamcast/Grokster are guilty of contributory and vicarious infringement.

The Ninth Circuit's opinion, by the way, is also a good read. Much less maddening than this petition, for sure.

Bad Precedent: (2, Insightful)

Jim_Callahan (831353) | more than 9 years ago | (#11429905)

Making companies liable for illegal actions consciously performed by end users of their products is an extremely bad precedent to set. If I play my music too loudly and am fined for breaking city ordinance, I don't think MGM wants to pay the fine because it's the soundtrack to a movie they own. Basically, even if there is a legitimate justification for shutting down p2p, this is a bad way to go about it.

Attention! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430070)

According to research http could be used for illegal file exchange. Please disable http support for your browsers.

There's a group waiting in the wings (2, Funny)

Open Council (704163) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430310)

That plans to sue the Government at all levels for the provision and maintenance of roads .. They have indisputable proof that this "roads" infrastrucure has been used in over 80% of all crimes.

Re:There's a group waiting in the wings (1)

Open Council (704163) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430317)

and if there were no electricity supply, how could anyone use a computer to steal copyrighted material ?
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