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Grokster Shutting Down?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the evil-is-as-evil-does dept.

Businesses 302

An anonymous reader writes "Yahoo news is reporting that Grokster is shutting down. In a settlement with Hollywood and the music industry Grokster will be permanently banned from 'participating directly or indirectly in the theft of copyrighted files and requires the company to stop giving away its software.'" A continuation on their deal with Mashboxx, or the end of grokster entirely?

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Quite simply... (2, Insightful)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973290)

This sucks!

Re:Quite simply... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973320)

How does the first post get modded redundant?

Re:Quite simply... (4, Funny)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973356)

Welcome to Slashdot, here anything can happen ;-)

Re:Quite simply... (1, Interesting)

timster (32400) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973389)

Posts asking "how does the first post get modded redundant" should hereafter be modded "Redundant", as this question has been asked and answered over and over again.

Re:Quite simply... (1)

butterwise (862336) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973511)

It is known that this sucks.

What'd they do to PJ??? (3, Funny)

Wabbit Wabbit (828630) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973292)

Oh. Grokster.

never mind.

Re:What'd they do to PJ??? (3, Insightful)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973400)

That's really what I read at first too. I almost lost it.

But Grokster... I could take it or leave it. I've never used it. The only suspicious thing is not being able to distribute their software anymore. There are far more dangerous things that are still allowed to be sold

Re:What'd they do to PJ??? (1)

Wabbit Wabbit (828630) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973489)

But Grokster... I could take it or leave it. I've never used it. The only suspicious thing is not being able to distribute their software anymore. There are far more dangerous things that are still allowed to be sold

100% agreed.

Re:What'd they do to PJ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973787)

what happens if other people give away their software? through emails, cheap CDRs, etc? lol.

Well... (3, Insightful)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973298)

or the end of grokster entirely?

Regardless of if it's the end of the software, it's the end of the spirit.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973386)

Oh well, who actually used Grokster anyway? There are plenty of places to go if you want to download free shit.

Grokster is dead (2, Insightful)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973390)

Long live Bittorrent!

Re:Grokster is dead (2, Informative)

nicklott (533496) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973654)

Re:Grokster is dead (1)

Norfair (845108) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973695)

I think we should be okay as long as we don't round sharing Miss Congeniality.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973573)

I doubt that this is the end of Grokster entirely. Wasn't the point behind these "2nd generation" p2p networks their decentralized approach (no central server to shut down)? Normally, I would think that as long as people have kept the installer, people would be able to continue to distribute the original software although I doubt that it would be legal (IANAL). As far as I know, Grokster is a FastTrack client like Kazaa and the original Morpheus (before they went to Gnutella). The only way to keep Grokster from working would be for the FastTrack people to do like they did to Morpheus a few years ago (if that's still possible). Does anyone have Grokster? If so, does it still work?

Re:Well... (0, Troll)

pclminion (145572) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973575)

Regardless of if it's the end of the software, it's the end of the spirit.

Hah. The "spirit" of a file sharing network. What a load of crap.

So what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973304)

So what?

Besides Bittorrent and Usenet.... (0, Redundant)

Not The Real Me (538784) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973310)

What other file sharing (free) are still left?

Re:Besides Bittorrent and Usenet.... (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973348)

Why would one PAY to share files?

Re:Besides Bittorrent and Usenet.... (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973479)

Well, in order to make sure that the software company has your name, credit card number and everything on file, of course, so that when they're sued and have to surrender their customer data, you can expect a visit from the men in black soon...

(Just to make sure, that was ironic, of course. In reality, I have no idea why anyone would pay for such a service, either, *especially* if they're going to use it for copyright infringement purposes (which I do not advocate)).

Re:Besides Bittorrent and Usenet.... (1)

codergeek42 (792304) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973363)

Gnutella, eD2k, etc.

Re:Besides Bittorrent and Usenet.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973388)

Use Shareaza and connect to ED2K, and GNUtella (G1/G2). Great program!

I mean really, why anyone would use the fasttrack network (kazaa, grokster, etc) when its been the prime target for the **AA's?

Re:Besides Bittorrent and Usenet.... (5, Informative)

varmittang (849469) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973505)

eDonkey
Overnet
Emule-kademlia
BitTorrent
Fasttrack (Kazaa, Imesh, Grobster)
FileTP (FTP/HTTP downloads)
Gnutella (Bearshare, Limewire,etc)
Gnutella2 (Shareaza)
Soulseek
Direct-Connect
Opennap

Most of them are accessable by using a MLdonkey client, some are still in the works. MLdonkey Can be found at http://www.nongnu.org/mldonkey/ [nongnu.org]

Re:Besides Bittorrent and Usenet.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973554)

Keep your mouth shut about Usenet and maybe Hollywood will continue overlooking them.

People Still Use Grokster??? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973311)

With torrents and newsgroups, who needs it?

Their Web site says: (3, Funny)

dptalia (804960) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973312)

"There are plenty of services where you can download music and movies legally. This is not one of them." Yikes!

no kidding (3, Insightful)

conJunk (779958) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973358)

"There are plenty of services where you can download music and movies legally. This is not one of them."

It's one thing to shut them down. It's another thing entirely to require them to say something that sounds like a scolded child. I can't *prove* sounding like a scolded child was part of the deal, but i don't think i'm out of line assuming that that statement is less than 100% voluntary

Re:no kidding (1, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973404)

I can't *prove* sounding like a scolded child was part of the deal, but i don't think i'm out of line assuming that that statement is less than 100% voluntary

Pretty much like having people spread stolen screeners of your not-yet-released film to thousands or millions of best friends they've never met know isn't exactly 100% voluntary for the filmaker, either. I think that's the whole point.

Re:no kidding (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973596)

I think we can assume it is a bitch-smack from the courts, and not a voluntary action, seeing that there is a link to the respectcopyrights website on the bottom of the page.

Banned from "stealing"? (1)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973313)

Isn't that an oxymoron?

Propaganda from the AP (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973317)

The article begins, "Grokster Ltd., a leading developer of Internet file-sharing software popular for stealing songs and movies online,"

Uh, wait, I thought file-sharing technology was used for a variety of things. Yeah, it's mostly file-swapping of copyrighted material, but hardly the only use. According to the AP, let's just ignore the legal uses entirely and pretend that the whole purpose of this technology was to steal.

Re:Propaganda from the AP (1)

Brantano (908473) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973355)

Well the file sharing that was used on these protocols using software like kazaa, morpheus, and emule is normally used for music, software, and movie file sharing. I dont think i have ever seen a free file of software that a company wanted to host, hosted on one of these networks. Bitorrent is another subject though, as there -are- legal uses for it.

Re:Propaganda from the AP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973470)

What about bands that put their music on P2P networks in order to get noticed? Or bands that are aware that their music is being shared and don't mind?

Dingdingding! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973639)

That's what the media distribution companies are really afraid of -- some copyright infringement now is small potatoes. Hell, they chalk it up to the advertiszing budget.

They're really up a creek without a paddle once people realize they don't need them at all.

Re:Propaganda from the AP (5, Informative)

Wavicle (181176) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973382)

IIRC, Grokster lost their case because they advertised themselves as a great way to get movies and music for free. Essentially marketing themselves as a conduit for copyright infringement. So much so that people were confused and actually believed they were downloading the stuff legally. (Don't start on how could someone think that, I won't argue the qualities of human ignorance.)

There are plenty of good uses for P2P. Copyright infringement, while popular, is not a "good" use.

Re:Propaganda from the AP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973440)

They didn't even completely lose the "case" in the sense that it was only Grokster's motion for summary judgment that got denied by SCOTUS. That is, SCOTUS basically said "No Grokster, you don't get to go off scott free without even having a trial." Granted, there was some dicta suggesting the trial would be a bit rough for Grokster, but still...

Yep (2, Funny)

42Penguins (861511) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973492)

I, for one, use file-sharing software EXCLUSIVELY for Linux Distros and public domain E-Books...Yeah, right.

Re:Yep (1)

Musteval (817324) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973706)

Sadly enough, I really do. Seriously. Oh, and that public domain sci-fi movie that came out a while ago.

Re:Propaganda from the AP (1, Insightful)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973637)

If we follow the logic of the **AA's, we should shut down all interstate highways as well. It has been shown that interstate highways are used to transport illegal drugs, firearms, etc. (legal uses be damned!)

Yeah, sounds stupid doesn't it? This is business with grokster is no different.

Re:Propaganda from the AP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973691)

and grenades are great for fishing, but those fat cats only see them as anti-personnel devices.

As for the quote, file sharing software IS popular for that reason. It's useful in other ways, but don't tell me it's not popular for the copyright infringement.

You're trying to find a slant when one doesn't exist.

Re:Propaganda from the AP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973745)

If you go back to grade school and learn reading comprehension, you'd realize that the AP was talking about the use of grokster's software IN PARTICULAR and not file sharing IN GENERAL. If you're going to argue that grokster was used more often for legitimate, legal purposes than otherwise, you're definitely a moron. You're over reacting and the AP is not spreading propaganda, simply reporting the use of grokster.

Re:Propaganda from the AP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973749)

But that was its purpose. The legitimate uses were just a convenient cover story...

Re:Propaganda from the AP (1, Insightful)

slackmaster2000 (820067) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973757)

I don't believe there are any real (as in frequently used) legitimate reasons for P2P networks to exist other than to distribute material illegally. It's the very last place I'd ever look to legally obtain software or media. I would in every single case get the material direct from the author's website, or via some legitimate web service, searching P2P as a last resort (so "last resort" that I've never had to do it). I'm not saying that it's not possible to use P2P networks for legit reasons, and I'm not saying that on occasion people do obtain legal materials from them. Really though, it's not a good way for an author to market something (no tracking, no content control, no targeting, etc), and it's not a convenient way for the consumer to retrieve something (file descriptors can be poor, you get queued up, you have to share back to get good rates with some services, etc).

The one giant exception here is Bittorrent, which is the most exciting P2P idea that's ever come out, in my opinion. BT by its very nature encourages the distribution of *legitamate* content because it a) allows the author to create and maintain a torrent that isn't connected to some vast network of crap, b) torrents can be "distributed" via websites, which is where you want your consumer to be, c) the consumer gets faster downloads, d) the author pays for less bandwidth. Bittorrent also, in my mind, kind of discourages the distribution of illegal content because torrent files themselves have to be hosted somewhere/somehow, thereby perhaps removing a layer of anonimity (at least the host could be held accountable).

Anyhow, while the original intent of the first P2P networks might not have been to distribute illegal content...it is certainly the primary task of such networks today (aside from bittorrent type networks).

Temporary Victory (5, Insightful)

mysqlrocks (783488) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973336)

"This is a chapter that ends on a high note for the recording industry, the tech community and music fans and consumers everywhere," said Mitch Bainwol, head of the Recording Industry Association of America.

This is a temporary victory only for the RIAA. They can't change the fact that their business model is becoming obsolete.

Re:Temporary Victory (2, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973421)

"They can't change the fact that their business model is becoming obsolete."

Their business model is only half of it. Freeloaders are the other half.

Re:Temporary Victory (4, Informative)

supun (613105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973424)

What do you mean? They get their share from services like iTunes, Napster, and the other legal music download services. Internet stations, like Radio Free Colorado, pay something like $0.07 a song. The RIAA gets their cut of that. So in fact, their business model is changing and not becoming obsolete.

BTW: All those Pepsi adds where they look like they are anti-RIAA make me laugh, since the RIAA made cash from the legal music downloads.

The tech community???? (4, Insightful)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973338)

"This is a chapter that ends on a high note for the recording industry, the tech community and music fans and consumers everywhere," said Mitch Bainwol, head of the Recording Industry Association of America.

Cue the almost unanimous outcry about how this guy is not speaking for us.

Re:The tech community???? (4, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973433)

Rabble Rabble!

Re:The tech community???? (2, Funny)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973486)

I'll see yer rabble rabble, and raise you one declaration of shenanigans. Clearly they spelled Bitch Mainwol's name wrong in the article.

OSS piracy (0, Troll)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973752)

One thing threatening Open Source today--piracy.

As we have already seen [slashdot.org] , the GPL is under attack from evil forces known as "pirates." These shadowy folk silently steal source code and violate the GPL, infringing on the rights of GPL authors. They are nothing more than thieves getting a free ride off the work of others, and I for one am disgusted at the idea of it. As you can see in the previous article, clearly Slashdot is also sickened by the idea of copyright infringement and piracy.

Some have even called for a lawsuit against these pirate thieves. Suing individual infringers has always been a position that Slashdot and its readership has supported, so it's only fair that the original GPL authors protect their rights and safeguard their material from being stolen in the future. I think we should all support any lawsuits against these infringers to protect the rights of GPL authors everywhere.

I applaud Slashdot and its readers for always taking a proactive stance against piracy and copyright infringement in general, and I would like to join the cause against this "source code theft." Piracy is a major threat facing OSS today. Thankfully, Slashdot always seems to take the side of content creators and never on the side of pirates, freeloaders, and other thieves.

Wink, nudge, etc.

I'm curious... (4, Insightful)

skelly33 (891182) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973344)

as to what other kinds of software might be construed as having a hand "directly, or indirectly" in piracy and is subject to being shut down? Apache HTTP server? Outlook Email? Mozilla Firefox? "The Internet"?

It seems you just can't fight corporate giants with billion dollar legal power...

Re:I'm curious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973675)

Yes you can. They only understand money. If you want to hurt them, you have to do it with money. Cost them money. Like when I go into Wal-mart and the lines are 20 minutes long because they only have 2 people working the 20 checkstands ... somehow on those same trips I always manage to accidentally break something as I'm looking over it.

Re:I'm curious... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973681)

Nor can insurrections against countries ever gain traction.

Re:I'm curious... (2, Funny)

op12 (830015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973737)

Actually, it's the power companies that are to blame. They are enabling piracy to occur. Piracy could obviously not happen if we didn't have power!

Writer sounds biased. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973351)

This is bad news, but the writer sounds biased and presumtuous with lines describing Grokster as: "... popular for stealing songs and movies online..."

Napster... (4, Insightful)

Chickenofbristol55 (884806) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973359)

They'll probably be back, but you'll have to pay for the service.

Re:Napster... (1)

saintp (595331) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973657)

Don't do something rash like RTFA and find out.
A new fee-based version of its software, which will permit only legal downloads, will be available within 60 days from a new parent organization, according to one executive involved in the deal.

Not a big loss, really. (5, Insightful)

Red Samurai (893134) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973378)

Grokster was never really that popular anyway. Anyway, they can shut down whatever network they want, and they can arrest anyone they want, but they'll never kill P2P off. As long as pirates exist, P2P will exist. It's a fact.

Re:Not a big loss, really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973765)

As long as pirates exist, law enforcement will exist. It's a fact.

** Puts on his "Slippery Slope Guy" hat ** (2, Insightful)

theSpaceCow (920198) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973405)

participating directly or indirectly in the theft of copyrighted files

I don't think I like such vague wording. How close to the pirating does software need to be in order to be "indirectly participating". Lots of pirated movies are encoded with Divx, are they next? Some come packed in RAR archives, how about them?

Hell, why not go for the gusto? Maybe it can be proven that the majority of pirates who rip and encode copyrighted media do so on Dell machines with Intel components running Microsoft Windows and we can take out the whole triumvirate.

They will not Win (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973415)

Unfortunately for the movie and record industries P2P already exists. Killing the specific tools, in this case grokster, is not going to end the treats and the downloading. They are going to find that in the end they are going to have to give up against an overwhelming force that is too much for them. They have already killed, or at least neutered, Napster and now they got grokster but they still will face more, such as the current bittorrent and will face more in the future. As long as they do not provide what the clients want, and theft is not the main reason P2P exists, they are going to continue to face what they see as threats to their wellbeing

should be in the clear then (1)

Scudsucker (17617) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973416)

participating directly or indirectly in the theft of copyrighted files

Too bad there has never been a single instance of "theft of copyrighted files" on any P2P network that has ever existed, or the Internet itself for that matter. Now copyright infringement is an entirely different kettle of fish, but I don't see anything in the summary about Grokster being banned from that.

Re:should be in the clear then (2, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973650)

Too bad there has never been a single instance of "theft of copyrighted files" on any P2P network that has ever existed

Probably the closest thing to that would be when a filmaker sends a screener, under the terms of a strict agreement with the recipient, to critic or other party for preview. The screener stays the property of the filmaker, and the guy that takes that filmaker's data (even if they eventually return the original media) and gives it out to a couple hundred thousand special "friends" over the 'net can pretty safely be said to have stolen that material. Certainly by any reasonable person's evaluation of the situation (say, while sitting on a jury), that's not so different than running off with any other trade secret or other proprietary information. That scenario, of course, is scarcely imaginary. We've seen it many times already.

Well, there are other ways.. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973423)

.. such as using your IRC client software to connect to the Undernet IRC network and joining the #mp3_collective and downloading all the free MP3's you want.
  • type

    @find *band*name*

    to find the band you want
  • type

    @username

    to get a list of his/her files so you can download them

grokster homepage text (4, Informative)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973427)

http://www.grokster.com/ [grokster.com]

The United States Supreme Court unanimously confirmed
that using this service to trade copyrighted material is illegal.
Copying copyrighted motion picture and music files
using unauthorized peer-to-peer services is illegal and is
prosecuted by copyright owners.

There are legal services for downloading music and movies.
This service is not one of them.

Grokster hopes to have a safe and legal service available soon.

If you are interested in that service, go to www.grokster3g.com, or send an email to:

info@grokster3g.com

to be included in the beta for the next generation.

Re:grokster homepage text (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973612)

The United States Supreme Court unanimously confirmed that using this service to trade copyrighted material is illegal. Copying copyrighted motion picture and music files using unauthorized peer-to-peer services is illegal and is prosecuted by copyright owners.

Well doh, that's been the case for the last 200 years or so and hasn't changed. What the Supreme court tok a 9-0 vote on was that offering a service that endorsed or promoted copyright infringement was illegal. That is a very nice way of saying that they'd probably lose such a case and decided to settle.

Get it while you can... (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973811)

No match for "GROKSTER4G.COM" You know they'll want this one if a few months ;)

Historical Precedent when Xerox was Outlawed (5, Interesting)

srobert (4099) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973429)

Back in the mid-twentieth century, a company called Xerox was producing a machine which could be used to illegally copy copyrighted materials in books. The courts ruled that the company had to stop making and selling the illegal technology and pay damages to the publishers. At least that's how I remember it.

A little tip for the moderators. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973516)

srobert is talking about photocopies. That was sarcasm, folks.

Re:Historical Precedent when Xerox was Outlawed (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973730)

Back in the mid-twentieth century, a company called Xerox was producing a machine which could be used to illegally copy copyrighted materials in books.

Sarcasm is a more useful rhetorical device when the truth that it (directly or indirectly) points out resonates with the sarcastic statement being made. But since Xerox didn't ever position its products as a way to "get free stuff" or spread around copyrighted works by the millions, their equipment's use in copyright infringement was despite their corporate position and publicly proclaimed admonishments. The P2P services that have found themselves in trouble have been loudly supporting piracy since the get-go. Intent is the difference, and lack of it makes your example fall flat. Maybe more fun to allude to old-style forgeries, counterfeiters, or all those other classical (and already blatantly understood as illegal) methods to make your point. Um, except the point wouldn't mean as much.

Re:Historical Precedent when Xerox was Outlawed (1)

crt (44106) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973733)

If 99.99% of the usage for Xerox machines was copyright infringment I suspect they would have been quickly outlawed or restricted. In practice, the vast majority of use was for reproduction of legit material. Had 99.99% of the Grokster usage been legit, I think you would have seen a different outcome to all this.

That's why the RIAA isn't going after FTP servers, HTTP servers, IM file transfer features, etc - those technologies were created for non-infringing uses and are predominantly used that way. Anyone that thinks Grokster was created for sharing of only public-domain content is smoking crack.

RIAA virus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973446)

I know it's highly evil and would cause problems for many others besides the RIAA but I am strongly tempted right now to write a virus that simply starts up a p2p app, downloads and shares the latest Britney album or whatever tripe is top of the charts this week. Last week someone here described a virus that deleted itself off the disk when it launched and re-wrote itself on shutdown. That sounds like a good place to start ;)

Those bastards need to be taught a lesson - they don't speak for us "consumers". How this bastard can justify his statements are beyond me - in what way was this a happy-ending for anyone but RIAA stooges?

Noooooooooo (1)

TreeHugger04 (739276) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973453)

....only 74% of Goblet of Fire Downloaded!! Have a heart people!

Re:Noooooooooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973570)

Serves you right! Next time try to download something less pathetic than Harry Pothead.

Profit! (1)

spxero (782496) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973456)

1. Make file sharing software 2. Get sued by *AA 3. ... 4. Profit!?!

Uh-oh... bad wording choice there, Mr. AP (4, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973459)

"Grokster Ltd., a leading developer of Internet file-sharing software popular for stealing songs and movies online, agreed Monday to shut down operations...
... bans Grokster from participating directly or indirectly in the theft of copyrighted files..."


Righteous anger its-not-theft-there's-no-deprivation-of-property flamewar to begin in 3... 2... 1...

Seriously, though, if you want a certain company's product, pay for it. If you wouldn't pay $0.01 for it, then why bother downloading it at all?

And just to forestall the inevitable, NO, I DON'T WORK FOR THE RECORDING INDUSTRY. I just believe that if you don';t think a product is worth the price offered, then you shouldn't buy the product... nor should you look to the black market for the product. Do without, it won;t kill you. And by not pirating the product, you won't help drive the *AA's assertions that they are losing a ton of cash to piracy.

Re:Uh-oh... bad wording choice there, Mr. AP (1)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973546)

Well, the simple reason is that there is no option to pay $0.01, only some rediculous price.

Re:Uh-oh... bad wording choice there, Mr. AP (1)

arkhan_jg (618674) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973547)

Doesn't do any good. I buy the product, I have to live with increasingly onerous DRM that imposes artificial restrictions on what I can do with the product, and doesn't slow down infringers in the slightest.

I don't buy the product, sales go down, and that's used to claim 'our sales have dropped - it must be pirates stealing it!' and they get laws which add even greater weight to DRM measures, thus making any products I do buy even more onerous to use.

Just for once, I'd like a lobby that supports the customers position get laws written for our benefit, or products made better instead of worse.

Re:Uh-oh... bad wording choice there, Mr. AP (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973674)

Some very good points, which I didn't address because they weren't in the scope of TFA or of my OP --

(1) Ridiculous DRM

Well, all this does is lower your perceived value of the product -- making you less likely to purchase it. It should lower everyone's perceived value of it, so maybe tons of people won't buy it.

(2) Falling sales figures used to calculate piracy levels

This is a huge problem. Hey, our sales are down -- it must be teh pirates! This is accounting that never should be allowed to fly.

"I'd like a lobby that supports the customers position get laws written for our benefit"

I'd like a car full of ice cream, but it won't happen unless I go out and buy the ice cream. Call or write to your legislator yet?

Re:Uh-oh... bad wording choice there, Mr. AP (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973797)

sales have dropped - it must be pirates stealing it!

And that claim (when it comes to products not selling, most likely because of poor quality in the first place), would indeed ring hollow if you couldn't immediately find hundreds or thousands of places "sharing" even the worst movies, all the time. It would be nice to say that they're BSing when it comes to the crappy movies, but the piracy is rampant on big (good) movies because lots of people don't feel like paying for their entertainment, and it's rampant on the not-very-good stuff because people think that it's not worth paying for it, so who will mind. It's too bad that the behavior you can actually see happening around in you in the P2P space does look exactly like what the content creators are complaining about. It makes them look... correct.

Re:Uh-oh... bad wording choice there, Mr. AP (1)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973568)

[blockquote]Grokster Ltd., a leading developer of Internet file-sharing software popular for stealing songs and movies online, agreed Monday to shut down operations... ... bans Grokster from participating directly or indirectly in the theft of copyrighted files..."

Nope, Grokster is a popular program for sharing not just movis and music, but software and documents as well as games, some legal, some not... and the flap is over copyright infringement... not theft... copyright infringement..... how many times must these people be fucking around with the language? Either that or the writers who wrote this were stoned and/or suseptible to bull and brainwash.

Re:Uh-oh... bad wording choice there, Mr. AP (4, Informative)

orasio (188021) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973762)

It's not stealing, just because it's not stealing.

Suppose you had a girlfriend (just for the sake of the argument). If someone looks at your girlfriend in a weird way, you cant say it's a rapist. You can make all analogies you want, and say that the guy has X-ray goggles, but some guy who looks at your girlfriend is not f**kin your girlfriend. You can even say that you want him to pay, because she is a stripper, and charges for people looking at her tits, and he is causing you lost revenue.

This is much the same. People who copy songs or movies are not doing anything that they could go to jail for. It's a civil issue. They risk being sued. They are not thieves. They are copyright infringers. It's just another thing, and calling one thing with the name of another thing is not healthy, specially for legal stuff. It ends up contaminating the original concepts. The whole idea of copyright infringement not being theft is that copyright is not something sacred, it's just a "temporary" government granted monopoly, and by infringing that monopoly you might or might not hurt the guy that the monopoly was assigned to, so it's his decission to sue you or not.

Re:Uh-oh... bad wording choice there, Mr. AP (1)

tradiuz (926664) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973763)

What if I refuse to pay $20 for something I feel is only worth $5 (Many music CD's only have 3 good songs on them). Some movies are only worth watching once or twice a year. If I felt something wasnt worth $.01 then I wouldnt buy it, but if I felt that something was grossly overpriced (Paycheck, Swordfish, etc), I'll download it now, and then buy it once it hits the bargain bin where it belongs.

Article Says BitTorrent is a Service (4, Insightful)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973467)

The article says "BitTorrent" is a service.

Is this true? I thought it was a file transfer protocol.

Re:Article Says BitTorrent is a Service (1)

varmittang (849469) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973586)

Well, its a client and a protocol. But if everyone was to drop using the client that you get from the official Bitorrent site, then it would just be a protocol. And if Bitorrent does gets sued for having its client, and they shutdown, it wont shutdown the network that it has created since there are a bunch of clients out there. Like FastTrack protocol has Kazaa, Imesh, and Grobster clients on it.

Color me late (2, Insightful)

multiplexo (27356) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973471)

to the BitTorrent game but after installing BT this weekend and downloading SuSE 10 (yes it took 12 hours, but I started it before I went to bed and had the ISO images the next day) it seems to me that decentralized P2P was going to be the wave of the future even if MGM v. Grokster hadn't gone the way it had.

Of course given the stupidity and greed of the **AAs it would not surprise me to see them attempt to crush BT either by going after Bram Cohen or by having their bought and paid for congresscritters write an exceptionally broad addendum to the DMCA that would ban any development or distribution of P2P software. Of course the inevitable consequences of such a ban will be disastrous, but they'll take several election cycles to materialize, which is far beyond the horizon of the aforementioned congresscritters.

More to come from RIAA? (1)

Bandraginus (901166) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973477)

When "studies" show that this doesn't make a dent in the number of files being copied each year, do you think the RIAA will become aware that their business model just isn't working? Ok, maybe that's too optimistic. But they've been going after Grokster for a while now... I hope they weren't seriously thinking that this will change people's attitudes.

So what's next for the RIAA? Where do they go from here?

Dead (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973503)

Netcraft confirms it. Grokster is dead.

Timeline: (5, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973555)

1990: We'll add passwords for computer games. Piracy "stopped."
1995: We'll copy-protect audio CDs. Piracy "stopped."
1997: We'll copy-protect DVDs. Piracy "stopped."
2001: We'll shut Napster down. Piracy "stopped."
2002: We'll shut Kazaa down. Piracy "stopped."
2005: We'll shut Grokster down. Piracy...

Re:Timeline: (1)

Javi0084 (926402) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973600)

2110: Take over the world. Piracy "stopped"

Re:Timeline: (1)

dascandy (869781) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973673)

Was kazaa stopped? Why am I /STILL/ running Kazaa then? With pretty good search results?

Re:Timeline: (1)

burns210 (572621) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973783)

Because, AFAIK, Gnuetella and Kazzaa (and others) are just that hardcore. They don't require central servers (AKA: a company) to be in place for the clients to form and function as a network. This is why Napster was able to be shutdown so easily, the index of music available on Napster was loaded into a live database at Napster HQ, not in a distributed index across the clients.

It is, practically speaking, not possible to shut down modern p2p applications, once released into the wild, because they programs themselves form the network. Of course, if there are bugs, or lacking features, you need some central codebase to improve upon, etc.

New York Times: Grokster File-Sharing Service Shut (2, Informative)

bartash (93498) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973665)

Here is the Grokster story from the NYT [nytimes.com] .

In Other News.. (2, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973684)

New York City - The Mafia has promised not to dip people in concrete and dump them into the Hudson River. In an agreement with FBI and Rudolf Giulani's ego, the Mafia has agreed that it will cease and desist this practice, regarded by some (particularly victims) as being somewhat barbaric, and usually quite illegal. "Da FBI came down on us and says 'Looks Fat Tony, we's getting tired of all da pollution. Peoples gotta drink dis water, ya know what I mean?'" said Fat Tony Lucchese.

Indirectly liable? WTF? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973694)

Lets see, some of their users get involved with 'pirating' but its Grokster's fault and they get 'punished'?

So does that mean i can sue Ford because some moron hit me while driving a mercury?

Oh, and wasnt some of the 'offenders' using Grokster improperly using Windows? Then Microsoft is at fault too.

This is insane.

See the IP Institute Page for More (3, Informative)

jhsewell (620291) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973703)

The University of Richmond's IP Institute web site has more information and links on this story.

http://ipinstitute.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Analogy with guns? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973713)

Lessee, the guns themselves are just tools, they can be used properly or they can be used improperly. Without knowing the relative proportion of usage of guns in both cases I would state without proof that the latter isnt a miniscule minority.

I believe replacing "guns" with "file sharing apps" wouldnt make the statements above invalid.

So the way I see it, the only real difference is guns have a huge corrupt lobby group FOR it, while file sharing apps have a huge corrupt lobby group AGAINST it. Ethically/morally, I don't see a difference.

interesting president (1)

isbhod (556556) | more than 8 years ago | (#13973727)

So does this mean i can sue the manufacturer of the shovel that was used to kill my brother? I mean the tool was never designed to be used for murder, and I know the crazy guy the killed my brother misused the tool, but hey the entertainment industry was able to sue the manufacturer of a tool that harmed them, even though it was by the misuse of the tool by their users. So why doesn't this M.O. work for me?

This is so obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973810)

Reintroduce the new legal version of Grokster with the RIAA filter service. Make said service a dll. It will be patched the next day. Then when the RIAA and the courts come a calling, you say quite rightly, "But Sir we do filter our downloads and we have strictly encouraged people on our site to use it to exchange legal files only." "Well what about all the piracy that is going on?" "Well sir these people all appear to have violated the DMCA and altered our software to do this. How can we be held accountable for changes someone else made to our code?" "So why are you not suing them all." "Well for one they are not committing a crime against us. Two, we do not want to bear the legal cost. Three, bad publicity would ruin our industry" "Well the RIAA sues?" "Case in point, Sir" "Oh!"

The result a legal service with the ball back in the RIAA court. They will once again have to sue each person, unless they seriously think that companies like Microsoft are going to allows them to pay a court into ruling that software makers are liable if someone else alters their code to commit a illegal activity. Think about it.

Continuation of Rise of Corporatism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13973822)

Isn't this another example of the rise of unchecked corporate power. It appears to be inevitable that those of us who are employed will be working for one of four companies:

Microsoft
Disney
Wal-Mart
AT&T (When SBC buys up all the baby bells and revives the old giant)

All this time we have meaninglessly bickered over social issues.

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