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29 March 2005

Bad Peer Days

It's been an interesting few days in the battle of big business versus the Internet-using population of the World.

First, in the run up to the MGM Vs Grokster case, owner of a number of content companies and the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, takes a financial stand against the really big content companies and pitches in monies to employ the legal services of Richard Taranto in arguing the EFF case for Grokster.

Next up, members of the U.S. Supreme Court express their concerns that allowing legal action to proceed against technology companies will stifle future technological progress. Intel agreed, and filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court to be used on behalf of Grokster and the other defendants. The Intel brief explains:
"Imposing on innovators, such as Intel an obligation to anticipate potential uses of their innovations, to correctly guess which uses will predominate, and then to design their technologies to prevent infringing uses (even if it were technically and practically feasible to do so) would stifle innovation and dramatically increase the cost of such technologies and of the consumer and enterprise products based on those technologies."

Then, on the day EFF defends StreamCast Networks in front of the Supreme Court, Cuban writes another article questioning the logic behind the RIAA's claim that file-sharing causes a decline in sales.

Cuban goes one step further and says that all other forms of digital media - DVDs, Digital Photographs, Video Games, Software, and Ringtones - have all seen huge increases in sales, either in terms of monetary value, or actual units since the advent of P2P technology, and that any alleged decline in music sales is simply due to lost market share. When you consider the global media mafia's steadfast commitment to their die-not-adapt logic and the sales of non-RIAA-cartel releases popularised by the very peer to peer networks the media mafia are looking to destroy, this all makes perfect sense.

The media companies are fighting just about everyone they can, from members of the general public, to technology companies, to even other media companies who happen to demonstrate a greater understanding of the inherent nature of digital media and Internet technologies. And in this they've taken on the impossible task of stopping the unstoppable.

The world knew it back in the days of Napster. Mark Cuban knew it in the early days of broadcast.com. Maybe, soon, the global media mafia will realise it too.

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