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Mark Cuban to fund Grokster vs. MGM case.

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the mark-if-you-read-this-we-heart-you dept.

The Almighty Buck 246

Deadric writes "According to Mark Cuban's latest blog entry, he will help fund the Grokster vs. MGM case, which threatens to destroy the Betamax shield."

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How exciting (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12059841)

I hope he doesn't make it into a reality series.

Would you call this (2, Funny)

OffTheLip (636691) | more than 9 years ago | (#12059844)

Cuban libre?

Re:Would you call this (1, Offtopic)

zotz (3951) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060193)

"Cuban libre?"

That's funny! Stupid, but funny and I mean no disrespect, I like my funny like this a lot of the time.

Mod parent up please.

all the best,

drew

Why did you mod me the way you did? (1, Offtopic)

zotz (3951) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060581)

I know the parent post to mine was offtopic, but it was funny. (Did you not get the joke?)

My post was offtopic to the article, but not in a smaller context.

So, what was your thinking? Or were you simply trying to spend your mod points quickly and picked a safe one?

all the best,

drew

Ok, I'll bite... (2, Insightful)

Evro (18923) | more than 9 years ago | (#12059848)

Who the F is Mark Cuban?

Re:Ok, I'll bite... (1, Informative)

TeleoMan (529859) | more than 9 years ago | (#12059855)

Mark Cuban was born on July 31, 1958, in the working-class city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and his penchant for business was evident right from the start. As a 12-year-old goofy kid with thick glasses, he sold garbage bags door-to-door. For what it's worth, he did pretty well and learned his first valuable lessons about business.

Re:Ok, I'll bite... (1)

MHobbit (830388) | more than 9 years ago | (#12059857)

Indeed.

Re:Ok, I'll bite... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12059867)

a billionaire who owns the dallas mavericks, even i know this and i'm finnish!

Re:Ok, I'll bite... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12059889)

Your Finnish? Do you know Linus?

Re:Ok, I'll bite... (3, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060128)

Who the fuck are the Dallas Mavericks?

Soccer team or something?

Guy who rode the boom (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12059879)

I think he started Broadcast.com or something and sold it to Yahoo for a gajillion dollars. Then he bought a basketball team and other stuff and laughed when all the people that didn't use their boom money lost it.

Re:Guy who rode the boom (4, Informative)

XorNand (517466) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060008)

He's done a lot more than that. His original claim to fame was starting a computer consulting firm which he sold to Compuserve for $30M. He's also gotten into some HDTV stuff. More info here [web2con.com] .

Re:Guy who rode the boom (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12060378)

Isn't it amusing that the things that he started were essentially worthless and merely capitalized on the dot bomb frenzy?

Re:Guy who rode the boom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12060686)

They weren't worthless TO HIM, now were they?

Yes But... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12059859)

Does he run Linsux?

Mark Cuban (5, Interesting)

Wizy (38347) | more than 9 years ago | (#12059875)

You can see what he has done in nearly every business he has run. He has made it work, made it run smooth and gotten a lot of money for it when he sold it off. He took the mavericks and made them into a contending team instead of a team that never had a chance of making the playoffs let alone winning anything.

Its nice to see him getting in on this. He might be goofy and really into himself, but he is good at winning.

Nice to see it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12059961)

It's nice to see someone funding an anti-media -oligarcy case.

Next up, hopefully, is a case limiting copyrights to 50 years with none of this authors death + x years nonsense.

This would get us past the unessarily high cost of verifying an author's death + the nonsense of determinging if a work os owned by a corporation.

Re:Mark Cuban (2, Informative)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060015)

He's got a tremendous ego, at least the match of Steve Jobs. He's a bit of a control freak. But he knows how to get things done, and despite his ego, he does have a more human and compassionate side.

This from a friend that worked on The Benefactor, from his personal contact and from things he heard from other people.

Re:Mark Cuban (4, Insightful)

sjwaste (780063) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060127)

He's got a tremendous ego, at least the match of Steve Jobs. He's a bit of a control freak. But he knows how to get things done, and despite his ego, he does have a more human and compassionate side.

In my opinion, that's not ego at all. What's wrong with a guy being aware and proud of his own abilities? It seems today everyone tries to go out of their way to make other people feel important even when they're not contributing shit, and anyone who decides they want to admit they've done well has an "ego". Well, it seems he's earned the right to do so.

Re:Mark Cuban (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12060509)

Well, it seems he's earned the right to do so.

just like a lottery winner, whom people call smart because of picking the right numbers

success is not proof of cause

Re:Mark Cuban (2, Insightful)

sjwaste (780063) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060584)

just like a lottery winner, whom people call smart because of picking the right numbers success is not proof of cause

Is that what you tell yourself when you come across someone more successful than yourself? Some people might get lucky once (and even that's unlikely when it comes to money, because its a world of vultures anytime a single dollar is involved), but Mark Cuban's business accomplishments simply cannot be denied. It's petty of you to think that he did it without a lot of hard work and solid decisionmaking.

Look, I'm not trying to be an asshole, I'm simply suggesting that using others' success as a model for achieveing your own is probably a better idea than resenting it and saying "they got lucky." I'm fine with saying that about someone who inherits everything they have, but not so much about someone who's made something of himself. It's a reminder of the things that are possible in our economy and society.

Re:Mark Cuban (1)

Wizy (38347) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060130)

Yeah, you hit it right on the nose. His ego is huge but unlike a lot of people with that problem, he gets things done and generally tries to be helpful where he thinks he can.

Of course I am bias being from dallas and a huge mavericks fan. What he did for the team was/is amazing...

Time to start rooting for the Dallas Mavericks (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 9 years ago | (#12059877)

Mark's quite the maverick himself.

Re:Time to start rooting for the Dallas Mavericks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12060019)

Penis! Penis! Penis!

The "Betamax shield" may not fit anyway. (5, Interesting)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#12059883)

The Betamax shield doesn't necessarily fit the circumstances. With the analog VCR tech, there are generational losses and the machines aren't conducive to easy affordable mass-distribution because of their 1x record rates. One reason SCOTUS gave Betamax their blessings was that people at the time weren't trying to build libraries of videos, but rather watch TV shows at a more convenient time, but my impression of P2P users is that they are trying to build libraries, and of material that wasn't necessarily licenced for broadcast anyway. Even when the material was licenced for broadcast, the ads are often removed.

With P2P, there are no generational losses and it doesn't require any money other than a working computer and an internet connection to distribute as many infringing copies as the user likes.

Re:The "Betamax shield" may not fit anyway. (1, Funny)

ArmchairGenius (859830) | more than 9 years ago | (#12059916)

And here I was thinking the "Betamax shield" was some new form of birth control.....

Actually... (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 9 years ago | (#12059923)

One reason SCOTUS gave Betamax their blessings was that people at the time weren't trying to build libraries of videos, but rather watch TV shows at a more convenient time

...the court recognized that there were people who did this, who probably were in violation of copyright law. An actual infringement is one of the requirements for contributory infringement. What they decided was that the potential illegal uses did not negate the tool's legal uses.

There is no way to rule against Grokster without violating the Betamax shield. Essentially, a tool has legal and illegal uses (specific circumvention tools like DeCSS might not fall under this, but otherwise the Betamax shield is wide). Can we punish the producers because a significant amount of the population chooses to break the law, using their tools?

If so, I would like to see the class action suit against Ford, Mazda, Chevrolet, Toyota, Hyundai, BMW et al for creating tools of speeding. At least around here, official numbers say 90%+ speed at times (and the rest are probably liars). You can fine the perp, but you don't punish the toolmaker.

Kjella

Re:Actually... (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060129)

The tool is not in question here.

The business of the company behind Grokster is.

Re:Actually... (3, Insightful)

stubear (130454) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060147)

What the OP was saying, and I happen to agree with his point, is that P2P software is not being used to time shift. This was the argument put forth in the Betamax case. It's hard to argue that time shifting is occurring on P2P networks and even if it is, many of the TV shows have been stripped of their commercials, something not easily done with VCRs, especially by those who were simply time shifting TV shows. There are enough differences between these two circumstances, and the climate surrounding copyright and rampant infringement on P2P networks, that Betamax applying is not a slam dunk. The US judicial system is not like some computer program that analyzes simple logic and spits out a result.

Re:Actually... (5, Insightful)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060181)

It doesn't have to be. In the Betamax case, the Supreme Court said that technology need only have potential substantial noninfringing uses for the developer to avoid contributory liability.

This serves two purposes: First, it allows the developer and the world time to figure out what the technology is good for. P2P networks are copyright neutral -- anything can go over the network. Thus, copyright holders can take advantage of it as well. Second, it prevents copyright holders -- really a subset of them, in fact (even back in '84, some were in favor of the Betamax) -- to extend their copyright on a specific work to what would effectively be a patent on a technology.

Grokster has won in the lower courts because their case is a slam dunk for Betamax. The only way that they can lose is if Betamax gets overturned.

we punish the tool makers all the time (2, Informative)

captwheeler (573886) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060570)

Hand grenades are not legal (and the makers suffer) because we balance the likely use with many factors.

Sudafed is now a behind the counter drug in many states (slowing sales) because end users used it to make meth.

Re:The "Betamax shield" may not fit anyway. (5, Informative)

cognibrain (710524) | more than 9 years ago | (#12059942)

One reason SCOTUS gave Betamax their blessings was that people at the time weren't trying to build libraries of videos...

Not true. From the BetaMax Shield [eff.org] link:

....the uncontroverted survey evidence established that 69% to 75% of all Betamax owners maintain large libraries of off-the-air recordings and that the vast majority of programs in those libraries are copyrighted motion pictures....

Only 9% of users were making legitimate recordings, but the court ruled that these people should not be denied, despite the majority's unlawful behaviour.

Re:The "Betamax shield" may not fit anyway. (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 9 years ago | (#12059970)

The question is not whether p2p'ing shows will be legal (it won't). The question is whether p2p itself will be legal, just as the Bemax question was whether VCRs would be legal.

From the article:

the case raises a question of critical importance at the border between copyright and innovation: When should the distributor of a multi-purpose tool be held liable for the infringements that may be committed by end-users of the tool?

in Sony Corporation of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc. (a.k.a. the "Sony Betamax ruling") held that a distributor cannot be held liable for users' infringement so long as the tool is capable of substantial noninfringing uses. In MGM v. Grokster, the Ninth Circuit found that P2P file-sharing software is capable of, and is in fact being used for, noninfringing uses. Relying on the Betamax precedent, the court ruled that the distributors of Grokster and Morpheus software cannot be held liable for users' copyright violations. The plaintiffs appealed, and in December 2004 the Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Re:The "Betamax shield" may not fit anyway. (1)

Inigo Montoya (31674) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060595)

"certiorari" ??? geez make my fingers work to google it, why don't ya...

for the benefit of others:

Main Entry: certiorari
Pronunciation: "s&r-sh(E-)&-'rar-E, -'rär-E
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin, literally, to be informed; from the use of the word in the writ
: a writ of superior court to call up the records of an inferior court or a body acting in a quasi-judicial capacity

Middle English??? are the hobbits running the courts??

Re:The "Betamax shield" may not fit anyway. (2, Interesting)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060067)

The Betamax shield doesn't necessarily fit the circumstances. With the analog VCR tech, there are generational losses and the machines aren't conducive to easy affordable mass-distribution because of their 1x record rates. One reason SCOTUS gave Betamax their blessings was that people at the time weren't trying to build libraries of videos, but rather watch TV shows at a more convenient time, but my impression of P2P users is that they are trying to build libraries, and of material that wasn't necessarily licenced for broadcast anyway. Even when the material was licenced for broadcast, the ads are often removed.

I agree, the Betamax shield is not at risk at all, the question is whether it is relevant which is entirely different. There is absolutely no risk that the SCOTUS is going to prohibit VHS recorders, DVD recorders or for that matter DVRs. It is almost certain that a DVR with a firewire port to plug in extra hard drives gets through.

The question in Grokster is whether there are genuine, substantial non-infringing uses or whether the theoretical and hypothetical uses being proposed are spurious and the only substantial use is to pirate stuff. Grockster can cease to exist tommorow and none of the copyright use I do is threatened in the least.

I think that it is very likely that either SCOTUS decides that pirate-to-pirate networks are illegal or Congress does. The RIAA and MPAA bought Orin Hatch long ago.

When you are dealling with a bunch of corrupt skunks like Hatch and co it is a good idea to choose something other that a sewer to stand in. Expecting to be able to get any music you want for free is simply not a reasonable or sustainable demand.

I don't think the RIAA demands are fair or reasonable, but they are sustainable. If people want to prevent the RIAA and MPAA getting away with more corrupt copyright grabs they better choose a more realistic set of demands.

Re:The "Betamax shield" may not fit anyway. (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060187)

The question in Grokster is whether there are genuine, substantial non-infringing uses or whether the theoretical and hypothetical uses being proposed are spurious and the only substantial use is to pirate stuff.

No, that's not true. The questions of fact were dealt with and decided by the lower court, are undisputed (read the plaintiffs briefs, and the oral arguments - they try very hard to claim to dispute the facts, but were clearly unable to do so. The Supremes, furthermore, rarely address questions of fact - the vast majority of their cases, like this one, are appeals, and appeals generally do not involve issues of fact, but rather of law and procedure. If, for instance, the Supremes were to find that the lower court determined issues of fact incorrectly, they would not then hold a trial and determine those issues themselves - they would rather return the case to the lower court with instructions detailing the errors made and instruct that lower court to take a redo.

Re:The "Betamax shield" may not fit anyway. (1)

3waygeek (58990) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060206)

It is almost certain that a DVR with a firewire port to plug in extra hard drives gets through.

One already has; it's called the Apple Macintosh. All recent Macs come with 1394 interfaces; just add Apple's free FireWire SDK, some AppleScript, and a tuner with FireWire output, such as the Moto DCT-62xx boxes used by Charter & Comcast, or the Samsung SIR-T165 for ATSC over-the-air, and you've got a DVR fully capable of recording & playing back HD.

I've been doing this for the last year using a $100 blue & white G3 I picked up off eBay. The new Mac Mini is almost ideal for this purpose, especially if you were to hack together a laptop-to-IDE adapter so you could use a 200 GB+ IDE drive -- the Mini's existing laptop drive isn't quite big enough for HD recording, and it's a bit on the slow side.

Well, in that case... (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060329)

I think that it is very likely that either SCOTUS decides that pirate-to-pirate networks are illegal or Congress does. The RIAA and MPAA bought Orin Hatch long ago.

...I'll just take this opportunity to say good-bye to all my friends in the US, before the lights on your subnet goes out. As much as I'll miss slashdot, I'm sure you will miss Internet more.

Kjella

Re:Well, in that case... (1)

captwheeler (573886) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060636)

The claim was that P2P would be illegal, not that we would stop using the technology.

The problem is what could *start* with this case (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060733)

The claim was that P2P would be illegal, not that we would stop using the technology.

Sure, but suppose this case did go the wrong way for P2P. We can probably assume that shortly after the SCOTUS "vindicated" the media industry position, we'd see H.R. 666, a.k.a. the Piracy To Piracy Solicits Users' Extreme Zero Royalties Zero Payments Acts or P2P Sux0rz Pact for short.

Seriously, I'm pretty sure P2P use in the US would die out real fast if all ISPs were required by law to disclose the name and address of any users whose computers are involved in sending or receiving data on some arbitrary set of ports, to be specified and updated by some government agency without further changes in the law. (Notice that if they managed to get that open-ended concept into the law, on the no unreasonable basis that P2P would just switch to use another port otherwise, then there would be serious implications for any use of the Internet.) Couple that with, say, an automatic $10k fine or 6 month prison sentence for anyone convicted, and it would just be too risky for most people to bother, and without the volume of users P2P is dead.

It would be a very bad day for a promising range of new technologies if something like this happened, which is why it's so important to separate the technology from the acts of the user in law. The argument is just as valid here as it is when you protect car makers, knife makers, etc.

Strangely, the media industry actually did seem to have come around to doing this until this case, going after those who were clearly distributing copyright material illegally. I would have thought bringing this case, which apparently could give permanent legal support to P2P networks that might be used as a defence in lesser cases in future, was a big risk. Then again, IANAL and neither do I know which big names the industry does and doesn't directly influence over in the US.

Re:The problem is what could *start* with this cas (1)

captwheeler (573886) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060891)

I responded to this:

...I'll just take this opportunity to say good-bye to all my friends in the US, before the lights on your subnet goes out. As much as I'll miss slashdot, I'm sure you will miss Internet more.

The poster was pointing out that TCP/IP is 'peer-to-peer' and so our subnets will go dark. I was joking that we won't quit using it even if it is illegal -- both p2p and IP. It would be typical of US law to make all p2p illegal then years from now mitigate that to protect IP networks, all the while with everyone using IP anyway.

Your point about the law killing P2P effectively in the US is right I think. Even if the technology could provide safety/anonymity it would be little used if prison was a possibility.

Re:The "Betamax shield" may not fit anyway. (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060728)

The Betamax shield doesn't necessarily fit the circumstances. With the analog VCR tech, there are generational losses and the machines aren't conducive to easy affordable mass-distribution because of their 1x record rates. One reason SCOTUS gave Betamax their blessings was that people at the time weren't trying to build libraries of videos, but rather watch TV shows at a more convenient time

The issue, again, is which users you are considering. I would think that most people would experience a generational loss as most people are not going to download a perfect uncompressed copy of the orignal product. Sure, there is only a single generation lost, but that is not much different. I am old enough to think that recorded a show onto video is keen, yet I never have had to make more than one copy of a tv show. I could always copy it off the TV, or find someone with a first gen copy.

Likewise I think most P2P users just want to watch tv at a more convinent time. Sue they could go over to their friends house who has cable, but it just is not convinent. And downloading a copy is more convinent that borrowing the recording.

And I certainly tried to build libraries. I have more tapes in storage than I care to count. Again, I am old enough to think VCRs are new fangled. I know that a computer and internet access is comparable to the costs of a VCR and tapes. And I always skipped commercials, or in the pre-vcr days, go get a snack.

I don't know if the betamax decision is in trouble. I do know that anyone can make wide generalizations to prove whatever point they wish.

Second sentence of the weblog entry... (3, Funny)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 9 years ago | (#12059892)

I am not a technology owner.

I call bullshit. ;)

Re:Second sentence of the weblog entry... (1)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#12059907)

You can't own technology (unless you mean the marketing jargon for software/hardware, which I don't). You can own products, however.

He's more of a technology-user/product-owner.

Re:Second sentence of the weblog entry... (1)

Gerad (86818) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060367)

Did you bother reading any farther than the second sentence? He explains what he means by that quite well =P

Unfortunately worded (5, Insightful)

DSLAMngu (715456) | more than 9 years ago | (#12059901)

The headline seemed to indicate that Mark Cuban was funding the destruction of the Betamax shield. Someone should make it clear that he is actually helping the EFF to defend Grokster against the RIAA.

This is not the editors' best work.

the obl joke (4, Insightful)

myspys (204685) | more than 9 years ago | (#12059983)

not their best work?

you must be new here

this IS as good as it gets around here!

Re:Unfortunately worded (3, Funny)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060125)

Hey, maybe Mark Cuban just likes litigation. Fund both sides, sit back, watch the sparks fly...

He's gotta be strong, & he's gotta be larger t (3, Interesting)

Fox_1 (128616) | more than 9 years ago | (#12059902)

Spelling errors intact from his blog(I added the bold) :
So , the real reason of this blog. To let everyone know that the EFF and others came to me and asked if I would finance the legal effort against MGM. I said yes. I would provide them the money they need. So now the truth has been told. This isnt the big content companies against the technology companies. This is the big content companies, against me. Mark Cuban and my little content company. Its about our ability to use future innovations to compete vs their ability to use the courts to shut down our ability to compete. its that simple
Dood wants to be a Hero - the Benefactor, the Mavericks, this guy is desperate for attention - not that I don't mind his neurosis helping protect my freedoms.

Re:He's gotta be strong, & he's gotta be large (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060041)

Hey, I'm with you. If he wants attention so bad, I'd rather him duke it out in the name of consumer freedoms rather than flashing his titties at Mardi Gras!

Re:He's gotta be strong, & he's gotta be large (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12060458)

I wouldn't say wanting to defend your business requires a psychological defect. That he's framing it as a David versus Goliath struggle is not unprecedented. It's a great story.

Re:He's gotta be strong, & he's gotta be large (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12060758)

With that much money he can afford to make spelling errors and not give a crap about what some jelous people consider a chance to take a shot at him with

its MGM vs. Grokster (4, Informative)

ShinmaWa (449201) | more than 9 years ago | (#12059904)

Its MGM v. Grokster, not Grokster v. MGM. The way it currently reads in the summary, it gives the strong impression that Grokster is suing MGM and that Mark Cuban is defending MGM.

Its always Plaintiff v. Defendant, NEVER the other way around.

Re:its MGM vs. Grokster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12059955)

In other news...
Mark Cuban is threatening to destroy the shield protecting the earth from a virus called Grokster Betamax.

Re:its MGM vs. Grokster (2, Informative)

jonny4001 (144859) | more than 9 years ago | (#12059973)

Actually, in appellate courts, it's almost always listed appellant (party taking the appeal) vs. appellee. Meaning, if the defendant lost at the lower court, he will be listed first.

Re:its MGM vs. Grokster (1)

ShinmaWa (449201) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060043)

You are right. It would have been more accurate of me to say that the party making the motion to the court is first.

Re:its MGM vs. Grokster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12059981)

The funny part is the last time someone made a submission title of "so-and-so supporting X vs. Y" people complained because so-and-so was supporting Y and the whole thing was confusing and their head hurt and they were forced to look at the article and read all those lumpy little letter-thingamajigs those highfalutin folks who went to highschool instead of doing an honest, God-fearin' man's day's work on the farm call "words" to see what in tarnation was going on and who they were supposed to be rootin' for.

A fool and his money... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12059905)


Hey! Don't put that up your nose!

Kitchen knives (4, Interesting)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 9 years ago | (#12059920)

I don't know about the USA, but in England it has long been held that a manufacturer of a kitchen knife cannot be held responsible for a murder carried out using the knife.

Re:Kitchen knives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12059948)

The opposite is true in the US.

The US Supreme court has made this decision, at least in regard to guns where, the manufacturers and distributors can be held liable for the acts committed with guns.

Isn't US law cool? Oh, and manufacturers of aircraft can be liable for equipment that they made over 40 years ago. Sweet!

Re:Kitchen knives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12059972)

The US Supreme court has made this decision, at least in regard to guns

Kitchen knives are designed to chop food. Guns are designed to kill people. Big difference.

Re:Kitchen knives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12060057)

Wrong! Guns are designed to kill pieces of paper with drawings in the shape of people...Sheesh, get it right...

Re:Kitchen knives (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12060159)

I don't believe guns have any specific purpose of use stated for advertisement. Accepted legal uses of guns include hunting, target practice (and all the various types of that there are within), and self-defense. I don't believe Smith and Wesson or Glock advertise that you can start a muderous rampage on the box, so I don't exactly see how your logic fits.

Re:Kitchen knives (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12060253)

It's not about advertising, it's about function. Guns are for killing. If they were for target practice, they wouldn't be lethal.

Re:Kitchen knives (1)

defile (1059) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060388)

It's not about advertising, it's about function. Guns are for killing. If they were for target practice, they wouldn't be lethal.

Killing can be an offensive or a defense measure. Is defense illegal?

Re:Kitchen knives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12060413)

Is defense illegal?

That depends on the country and the specifics. It can be.

The fact remains that you can defend yourself without resorting to lethal weaponry. People do it all the time in countries with no right to bear arms. Weapons designed for killing are not necessary for defense.

Re:Kitchen knives (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060491)

"Weapons designed for killing are not necessary for defense."

I will not say which side of the gun toting side of the debate I am on, but please...

Tell that to the defense departments of every country in the world that has one.

Tell that to every police department.

Se how far you get.

Also,

I am from a country where our rights to gus are much more restricted than the US. For some strange reason, it does not seem to prevent the criminals from having a more than ample supply of weapons. Another strange thing is that many of the weapons are outright illegal in this country if I understand correctly.

So, unless you are in a country where drugs are illegal and cannot be obtained within your borders, don't be to sure that making guns illegal will keep them off the streets.

So, criminals are going to be using them regardless. Now if your concern is for the accidental deaths, perhaps we need to bring automobiles into the debate. (I know they are not for killing as you indicate guns are, but, think of the lives lost.)

all the best,

drew

Re:Kitchen knives (1)

sjwaste (780063) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060604)

Well, here in the US, drugs are illegal. And because they're illegal, its REALLY HARD to get drugs.

Seriously, how many law-abiding citizens with legally purchased and registered firearms are out committing crimes? There's a reason why many police officers don't even bother to temporarily confiscate a concealed weapon if they pull someone over for a traffic stop and they come up as a permit carrier. Taking the guns away from these people doesn't take them away from those who obtained them illegally in the first place.

Re:Kitchen knives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12060731)

Seriously, how many law-abiding citizens with legally purchased and registered firearms are out committing crimes?

How many criminals have obtained weapons through the gun industry that these law-abiding citizens support?

How responsible well-intentioned gun owners are is a separate argument. I hope you can at least concede that these gun owners support an industry that also provides guns to criminals (intentionally or otherwise).

Re:Kitchen knives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12060720)

Tell that to the defense departments of every country in the world that has one.

There is a world of difference between a trained soldier defending against an invasion of armed individuals and a citizen defending himself.

If here is no difference, you might as well argue that citizens can also legitimately own tanks, missiles, etc, for "defense".

Tell that to every police department.

In most countries I have been to, very few policemen have guns and they are restricted to specialised departments. Think about it - trained policemen whose job it is to protect people aren't as free to wield guns than the average citizen in the USA! And somehow our crime rates aren't spiralling out of control like gun advocates suggest might happen if their guns were taken away.

I am from a country where our rights to gus are much more restricted than the US.

Me too.

For some strange reason, it does not seem to prevent the criminals from having a more than ample supply of weapons.

Firstly, making guns outright illegal raises the bar dramatically. Suddenly you have to be a "serious" criminal to get one (or, more specifically, the distribution of gun owning criminals is skewed massively towards experienced criminals). The more experienced a gun-toting criminal is, the less likely it is anybody will get hurt during a robbery.

Secondly, it's a hell of a lot easier to identify and convict these "serious" criminals if gun possession is illegal. Possession is easier to prove than practically any other crime.

So, unless you are in a country where drugs are illegal and cannot be obtained within your borders, don't be to sure that making guns illegal will keep them off the streets.

I live in a country with illegal guns and illegal drugs*. I've never heard of a friend ever even seeing a gun. Practically all my friends have tried illegal drugs, some are habitual users.

As far as I can tell, in a country where both guns and drugs are illegal, drugs are far, far more socially acceptable. This means a much bigger black market, and subsequent effects that make it easier to get hold of drugs than guns.

* I assume you are talking about popular recreational drugs such as cocaine; there are plenty of legal drugs in every country.

Re:Kitchen knives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12060791)

So what... Give them to the people and double the numbers

Re:Kitchen knives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12060674)

> is defending oneself legal? ask Bernard Goetz. Is sure as hell is in Tejas, provided that the perp dies in your house.

Re:Kitchen knives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12060778)

You cna defend yourself without a gun , you can defend yourself without lethal force , lethal force is illegal but wavable

I think we are digressing... (1)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060888)

I think we are digressing. There is no doubt that some guns were designed to kill people. But even the fact that a gun is designed to kill people isn't enough to cause the manufacturers to be held liable for a crime committed with their products. Like you said defending myself is legal.

Where they cross the line is in things like making the finish "finger print resistant" or obviously if they made the weapon fully automatic or semi automatic but sell a conversion kit.

Re:Kitchen knives (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060432)

Projectile motion tells me that to fire a projectile in a near straight line over any meaningful distance, the velocity must be very high. What kind of projectile do you think can travel at the speed of a bullet and NOT be lethal? If a gun is manufactured for the purpose of protection or hunting and it's used in a crime, how is that any different than a knife being used in a crime or someone running their husband over in their car?

Re:Kitchen knives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12060638)

Projectile motion tells me that to fire a projectile in a near straight line over any meaningful distance, the velocity must be very high. What kind of projectile do you think can travel at the speed of a bullet and NOT be lethal?

  1. Who says projectile weapons are necessary for self-defense?
  2. What do you define as "meaningful distance"? Bear in mind that this is for self-defense, not attacking somebody at a distance.
  3. Rubber bullets are less lethal

Re:Kitchen knives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12059962)

what if you was chopping carrots and it fall into your sock and you dont notice and your running to catch the bus and it falls into someones arm, a couple of times...is that illegal?

Half the Battle (4, Funny)

droleary (47999) | more than 9 years ago | (#12059980)

I don't know about the USA, but in England it has long been held that a manufacturer of a kitchen knife cannot be held responsible for a murder carried out using the knife.

In the USA, we use guns to irresponsibly kill each other. Only in rural and/or southern regions does the concept of a special "kitchen gun" make sense. Now you know!

Re:Half the Battle (5, Funny)

kurosawdust (654754) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060352)

Oh man, the Kitchen Gun has been a staple of Southern cuisine for centuries now. Ever have grits? That's nothing but a bushel of ears of corn before the twelve-gauge tenderizer gets a hold of it.

Re:Half the Battle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12060459)

But how many murders are in rural areas? My guess is not as much as the City.

Re:Half the Battle [winhat] (1)

winhat (866512) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060633)

Kill kill kill the poor. Every gun that is baddass you mean and that i care about nothing, so as a direct result, nothing that ever happens will upset me, unless of course is an assertion we as a people need to kill you. And nobody wants that! The poor are my slaves. I skull fuck their daughters. Fuck the poor.

Free trade and murder weapons (2, Informative)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060107)

I don't know about the USA, but in England it has long been held that a manufacturer of a kitchen knife cannot be held responsible for a murder carried out using the knife.

I, too, don't know about the USA ... and I've lived here all my life, mate.

The nut of the Betamax case:

In the Betamax case, the Supreme Court ruled that a company was not liable for creating a technology that some customers may use for copyright infringing purposes, so long as the technology is capable of substantial non-infringing uses. In other words, where a technology has many uses, the public cannot be denied the lawful uses just because some (or many or most) may use the product to infringe copyrights.
Source [eff.org]

To my thinking, this means that manufacturers of cute cuddly teddy-bears are not responsible when some crazed maniac uses stuffed animals to perpetrate a murderous asphyxiation spree.

Furthermore: the knife is too goddamned obvious -- any fool can knife a man to death. It takes an innovator to kill with stuffed animals.

-kgj

Re:Kitchen knives (1)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060134)

That is true.

However, in England it is illegal to own a kitchen knife.

So there are good and bad sides to it.

Re:Kitchen knives (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060390)

Illegal to own, or carry around the street? I dunno diddly about law in England but here there's a lot of stuff that you can own but not transport, like throwing knives.

Re:Kitchen knives (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060530)

"Illegal to own, or carry around the street? I dunno diddly about law in England but here there's a lot of stuff that you can own but not transport, like throwing knives."

Which is why we really need to get to work with renewed energy on transporter technology.

I mean, how are we supposed to get our throwing knives home from the store if we cant transport them.

I take that back, transporter technology will do us no good in this case as transporting them is already illegal and the technology does not even exist yet except in science fiction.

Talk about forward thinking lawmakers...

all the best,

drew

These Knives Were Made For Throwing ... (1)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060696)

Illegal to own, or carry around the street? I dunno diddly about law in England but here there's a lot of stuff that you can own but not transport, like throwing knives.

Of course you can't transport throwing knives -- you have to throw them.

How the hell are we supposed to manage our planned economy if people go around carrying knives meant for throwing? The mere thought of it staggers my inner social Darwinist ... not to mention the quaking of my inner Aristotelian teleologist ....

-kgj

Mod chips (1)

Sanity (1431) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060685)

England may apply this logic to kitchen knives, but they don't apply it to PlayStation mod chips [bbc.co.uk] , which a judge, last year, decided were illegal to make, advertise, or sell.

Betamax is not in Question (5, Informative)

VoxCombo (782935) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060004)

Betamax was never questioned in the case.

The original case went to a summary judgement over two laws: contributory infringement [A & M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc. (114 F. Supp. 2d)], and vicarious infringement [Fonovisa, Inc. v. Cherry Auction, Inc. (76 F.3d 262)].

In the original case, the judge notes during sumamry judgement that Grokster found a loophole in copyright law, which allowed them to dance around the conditions needed for contributory and vicarious infringement.
The language currently being used for this loophole is "willful blindness".

Crackhead Moderators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12060144)

This isn't offtopic, it relates directly to the story you dipshits! This is the problem with user moderation, it allows any random idiot to come in and impose his will on people. There is no reprecussions becuase all the other idiots like him will simply metamod this stuff fair. If metamod really worked, shouldn't moderations be almost completely fair due to the process of elimination brought from metamod?

Sorry couldnt resist this (2, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060087)

Viva Cuban ...
This is wonderfull news , We need more people of his financial stature to help take on the errosions of our libertys .Still sad that you need this kind of cash to defend our rights against bussiness in the USA though.
Land of the free as in $

mark cuban... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12060176)

who?

Copyright bye bye (0, Flamebait)

westyvw (653833) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060211)

I say this over and over here. Copyright for corporations is done and over. Its time that America goes back to its roots and abolish corporations that don't serve the public good.

If we stood together and told the government that we no longer recognize copyrights they would go away. The idea that I cannot copy something is ridiculous. If you have the means, then copy away. Giving power to governments and corporations to tell us what we can do with technology is a very bad idea.

This is a battle that must be won, and the people must have free reign to copy and manipulate data anyway they want to. I am OK with giving recognition to someone who creates, but that is all.

Re:Copyright bye bye (3, Insightful)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060699)

Copyrights and patents are derived from article I clause 8 of the constitution. That could be changed, but not by everyone standing together and telling the goverment anything, you'd need an amendment. Of course, without copyright, there would be no recognition, any corporation could jack open source code & use for their own purposes without attributing any author (only the excercise of copyright via GPL, BSD license, etc. prevents that now). Most artists, inventors, software and authors would not go for this, I'd bet less than 10% of the populace wants what you want. Also, the goverment and most people would have a huge problem with you copying money, electronic funds transfer keys, nuclear launch codes, credit card numbers, etc. However, there are places on this earth where you can copy as you please; I've been to some of those places. if you live in such a place you'll be wanting to keep your self defense skills honed and carry weapons at all times, lack of regard for life seems to go hand in hand for places that have lack of regard for personal or intellectual property.

I don't care how rich you are..... (1)

lexsco (594799) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060288)

...Star Search,Soldier of Fortune, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous...


but there are some things that even I would not want the whole world to know !

Mark (4, Informative)

jrwillis (306262) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060308)

Living in Texas I've known several people over the years that have known Mr. Cuban. No matter which one you talk to they all say the same thing. He's a realy down to earth guy that hasn't let all the money and power get to him. It seems that if he sees something he likes, he makes it succeed, AND still manages to make money off of it too. So rock on Mark, because you're doing one hell of a job.

Busted (2, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060445)

And he's putting out the Enron movie [imdb.com] . Finally, someone spending Bubble money on something as worthwhile as Aeron chairs!

Good for Mark (2, Insightful)

CokoBWare (584686) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060727)

Mark's argument "software doesn't steal music, people steal music" is the same as the argument that "guns don't kill people, people kill people". Let's get things into perspective. Technology by itself doesn't do anything unless it's applied. People make the decision to use the software and how to use it. The RIAA got it wrong. The MPSS got it right. Discourage people by educating them on how stealing movies is wrong. How you affect all the little guys. Nobody cares if Britney Spears and fat record execs make less money. Really, they don't.

If record companies stopped killing innovative music, then I think people would care about stealing their stuff. If all people can get it trash, and they see it as trash, then they will respect it as trash. Pop music has become trash. Since people see it this way, and that's the only stuff they can get, they steal it cuz it's worth nothing to them anyways.

People steal music, not software.

Re:Good for Mark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12060820)

People steal music, not software.

I thought we agreed that it wasn't music and it was trash?!

what gives?

We don't want to lose this one... (2, Insightful)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 9 years ago | (#12060828)

This is an incredibly important case. At its core is the question: Can the makers of a product or the providers of a service be held responsible for the misuse of that product or misuse of that service?

Can the maker of DVD recording equipment be held liable for you or I using that equipment (and/or programs) to distribute copyrighted material. Can ISPs be held liable for any illegal use of their services? And let's push it to its limit: Can gun manufacturers be held liable when the equipment they make is used to commit a crime?

If this appeal succeeds, be afraid.
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