Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

A View from David Kushner

Pirate Wars: Round Two

Here we go again. Lawyers for the music and film industry descended on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday. The mission: to overturn a ruling that clears file-trading services from being responsible for their pirate users. The ruling…

  • February 4, 2004

Here we go again. Lawyers for the music and film industry descended on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday. The mission: to overturn a ruling that clears file-trading services from being responsible for their pirate users.

The ruling came last April when the recording industry tried unsuccessfully to shut down the companies behind Morpheus and Grokster. As a result, the industry began suing individual pirates, including a 12-year-old girl caught downloading the theme song to the TV show, Full House.

Hopefully, the appeals court will do the right thing and uphold the previous determination. The ramifications of an overturned ruling would be ominous and far-reaching. If these software developers are found to be responsible for what takes place on their services, where do we draw the line? What about all the file-trading that occurs over instant messaging programs from AOL and Microsoft? Should these companies be held accountable too? Rather than demonizing the technology, which has perfectly legal applications, the industries should spend more time rolling with the changes and drafting up new business plans.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe and become an Insider.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}* Best Value

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus the digital magazine, extensive archive, ad-free web experience, and discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events.

    See details+

    Print + Digital Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

    Technology Review PDF magazine archive, including articles, images, and covers dating back to 1899

    10% Discount to MIT Technology Review events and MIT Press

    Ad-free website experience

  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning print magazine, unlimited online access plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Print Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

  • Insider Online Only {! insider.prices.online !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Unlimited online access including articles and video, plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.