Monday, November 07, 2005


Another pyrrhic victory won today by the RIAA, as Grokster announces its plans to close its peer to peer network and pay fifty million dollars it probably doesn't have to the entertainment industry; it's Grokster's first step toward launching a legal service. The Grokster site suggests it's rather surprised at its own actions:

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.

You know how it is: you wake up, and suddenly realise everything you believe in is wrong. Then you grow a beard and try to go legit.

Mitch Bainwol is thrilled:

"This settlement brings to a close an incredibly significant chapter in the story of digital music," said Mitch Bainwol, chairman/CEO of the RIAA. "This is a chapter that ends on a high note for the recording industry, the tech community and music fans and consumers everywhere. At the end of the day, this is about our ability to invest in new music. An online marketplace populated by legitimate services allows us to do just that."

We're not sure why he thinks is the close of any particular chapter - it's more like someone's gone back and added a fullstop to a sentence that had run out of steam some time ago. But if it makes him happy, then let's not spoil his moment of joy by asking "so, what are you planning to do about bittorrent, Mitch?"