Thursday, June 30, 2005

Leashing The Future

I agree with Wired's comments on the Supreme Court ruling on Grokster:

That seems like a big win for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and other plaintiffs, which now stand a good chance of shutting down both contested services and bringing new lawsuits against other peer-to-peer companies. But, by helping maintain the status quo, the ruling could further delay the death of the old way of doing things and postpone the birth of new strategies that successfully build on unstoppable peer-to-peer technologies...

The high court did a lot of things right in Grokster. But defending the rights of copyright holders in the face of disruptive new technologies does not demand protecting outmoded ways of selling products. It's time for the entertainment industry to accept the inevitable and stop trying to use the courts to put a leash on unpredictable new technologies.

In the end, the business model in the entertainment industry is going to change, and these companies can either find a way to insert themselves into the new order, or risk finding themselves frozen out forever.

The new technology is eventually going to win because it returns power to individuals -- and no longer leaves the entertainment industry in charge of our choices. The best thing to do would be for the entertainment industry to recognize that now and begin to work on technologies that are in sync with P2P tech.

Unfortunately, I'm not at all sanguine that will occur. They want to keep the power in their own hands and limit it to as few people as possible. But it's like making a tidal wave change direction. It's not going to happen. For their own good, they better get with it or they are going to lose out even more.


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