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Senate to Examine MGM vs. Grokster Ramifications

Postby SlyckTom » Thu Jul 28, 2005 1:25 pm

The effects of the June 27th Supreme Court ruling has so far had a wide range of influence, at least in the United States. LimeWire has maintained a "no comment" policy in regards to their destiny, while BearShare has closed its forums. Neo-Modus, the development team behind DirectConnect, has mysteriously disappeared.

Luckily, LimeWire and BearShare are part of the Gnutella network which is an open source community. Likewise, Neo-Modus' DirectConnect is a relatively minor player in the DirectConnect network. Nevertheless, commercial P2P companies are finding times difficult in America.

While some in the copyright industry may shun P2P developers, it has proven to be a valuable asset in the march of technological innovation. Although the Supreme Court did not give the MPAA and RIAA and outright victory in its ruling, it did leave a lot of unanswered questions. How far can a P2P company go and not cross the line into encouraging copyright infringement? What exactly determines this?

With more questions than answers to the June 27th ruling, it has become apparent a third party may be able to shed light on the situation. And indeed, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation will convene all the major players to testify this afternoon at 2:30 PM EST.

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation has no jurisdictional authority, nor are there any bills pending or being introduced that will seek a balance between technological innovation and protecting intellectual property rights. However, this committee meeting may prove useful as it may serve as a foundation for upcoming legislation.

The hearing will bring witnesses from both sides of the file-sharing debate. Mr. Adam Eisgrau Executive Director, P2P United will provide testimony in defense of file-sharing. In addition, the Distributed Computer Industry Association (DCIA) will be providing written testimony in support of file-sharing.

Conversely, Mitch Bainwol Chairman & CEO of the RIAA and Fritz Attaway
Executive Vice President of the MPAA will also provide testimony.

What will this meeting accomplish…interesting question. For the longest of times, the two sides have been so polarized in their positions that any type of agreement or settlement seemed impossible. The RIAA has demanded that P2P developers incorporate filtering and DRM (digital rights management), while P2P developers have refuted the feasibility of such an option and demanded licensing rights. This core stipulation has been perhaps the greatest stumbling block to achieving a settlement and putting years of litigation behind.

But it appears that after the Supreme Court ruling, there just might be some light at the end of the tunnel. Recently, Mitch Bainwol was quoted by CNN, suggesting the RIAA is ready to move on and negotiate a settlement with the major P2P players.

“To the P2P operators, the LimeWires and the eDonkeys: We want to work with you,” Bainwol said in an interview to CNN. “This is time to come forward and start filtering. We can build a better digital age together.”

Sounds great, is the DCIA and P2P United on board? To some extent. In written testimony provided to by the DCIA and P2P United, both lobby groups are ready to move on licensing agreements by incorporating micropayment systems and prioritizing DRM content. But filtering copyrighted content still appears off the table, according to the DCIA.

“We should clarify that our vision for that expansion does not center on filtering copyrighted works out of the P2P environment, but rather on deploying commercial and technical solutions, which the vast majority of rights holders will find attractive, for secure licensed and profitable redistribution of such works via file sharing.”

Indeed, both P2P United and the DCIA crave to bring their business model out of the gray market and into the light. The RIAA and MPAA want to work with P2P, while P2P United and the DCIA want to work with the RIAA and MPAA. Finding common ground has been difficult, but the recent Supreme Court decision may have given P2P developers just enough leverage to strike a licensing deal with the copyright industry.

The ultimate goal of today's meeting is for the Senate Committee to gauge the ramifications of the MGM vs. Grokster decision. Indeed if the Senate agrees with the testimony provided by P2P United and the DCIA, we could well be on our way to witnessing a licensing agreement between the two sides.

Testimony links (all PDF):

You can read the DCIA's testimony <a href= target=_blank>here</a>.
You can read Digital Container's testimony <a href= target=_blank>here</a>.
You can read Scooter Scudieri's testomony <a href= target=_blank>here</a>.
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Postby ksaturn123 » Thu Jul 28, 2005 1:42 pm

Bottom line is: P2P shares files which don't belong to the person sharing. We want free junk, and P2P has it. The RIAA/MPAA want thier money for thier stuff. Hard to define a line between free and paid for. Though if they can drop prices, I'm sure they'll see a trend. Blah I can't write anymore. No matter what I say now it just seems like repetition.
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Postby voodoohippie » Thu Jul 28, 2005 3:48 pm

Hopefully after Today the RIAA/MPAA will start striving towards ad supportive p2p (many progs have ad banners at the bottom of the apps anyway) or this new distribution where you get paid for hosting artists files on your system. Either way I think its time for the industry to realize that the age of the physical CD is dead and should be buried alongside of the old fashion LP record. When I went to college in 2001 for a 1 ½ yr stretch I was not planning on carrying 20-100 CD’s on the plane with me to enjoy my library of music. What was I to do? Well an Mp3 player with 20 GB of storage was the answer. I bought the player just 2 days before I was to be whisked away to the center for the Blind in Ark for an almost 2 yr stretch. And thank God for the Mp3 player. I began loading it up with my Ozzy, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Ted Nugient, Bob seger and some Metaphysical stuff as well so I could continue studying my ancient Sanskrit language and chant the Hindu chants on my spare time. Without the Mp3 player I’d be lost. I feel if anything Blind people should file a suit against the RIAA for discrimination against the Blind. For Blind people cannot read the CD labels and it is a real headache for a blind person to grab a bus when he or she wants that CD they want when they could easily fire up their computer and use a speech syntheses to accomplish this on most music services. So with this in mind its time to stop hording technology and making excuses that we are all thieves and such. I do use both MusicNow and p2p services such as LimeWire to achieve my quest for my favorite music. And I realize that the artists should be paid and would not mind paying so much a month for this right or deal with ads at the bottom of the app. I have some sight so I use Zoomtext to magnify the screen. Jaws users probably would have to pay to have the ads taken out of the app for some banner ads can cause problems with JAWS. So lets say when you use Morpheus for FREE you will see a lot of ads. And to make sure the artists get paid that actually deserve to be paid that Morpheus will track the Downloads so that if you put out good music and people Download your stuff you’ll be paid and if you put out crap and no one shares your files you don’t get squat. That is how the music industry should be and maybe it will encourage real music again just like the 70’s and early 80’s before Rap radio took over. I hope the lower court tells both the MPAA and RIAA to just deal with it and either learn how they can make a deal with p2p operators and have ad supportive licensing or die like the dinosaur. It time to put the stupid justice clogging lawsuits to rest so that the lawmakers can deal with real criminals and stop with the joke of a copyright act that really doesn’t solve anything in the first place. In the beginning during the TI99/4A and Commodore VIC 20 days software was open source and anyone could modify software. Yet the software makers continued to exist even though just about any kid with 21 second backup and 2 disk drives could copy any video game on the market for FREE. So this is a no brain situation. Even the computer manufacturers would suffer if p2p were suddenly eradicated (which can’t happen no matter how illegal your laws could possibly make it.) I think Americans need to stop being lazy and try to attend some of these hearings when they are open to the public and or join the EFF. Your voice really does matter and I was appalled when DVD X Copy lost the hearing because they really did not induce copyright infringement but rather encouraged people to exercise their fair use rights. I feel that not only does p2p need a open access ad supportive license but so does Movies and Software. We have delt with home users copying intellectual property since 1974 or ealier when I had my first tape recorder and recorded The Bay City Rollers - Rock And Roll Love Letter from the Radio and played it for my enjoyment and was excited that I could make a copy off the Radio without using a mic. Should I be invaded by a bunch of men in blue suits at 11 years old and my tape recorder be taken from me because I copied that song as a kid? I’d surly hope not. However this is the mentality we’re dealing with when we all discuss the RIAA and MPAA. Its no different than some stranger walking up to your kid at McDonalds and stealing his or her French fries and saying “hey I made the recipe for French fries so I’m gonna eat these fries and you can’t have them.” leaving the poor child crying and shaking scared out of its mind. The members of the RIAA should have been taken down for that act to that poor 12 your old little girl. I could go on and on but I’ll spare you for now. However if we lose this hearing I’m really going to flip out.
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Postby Vulture » Thu Jul 28, 2005 4:01 pm

Woah, Voodoohippie, the return key is your friend.
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Postby raar » Thu Jul 28, 2005 4:45 pm

I enjoyed your rant, Voodoohippie!
Good points.
I think we all said this years ago when Napster was first axed. That the Riaa has to kneel down and play the game as history deems or die.
For our money, when downloading we should be able to have all of the following included with our download:

Fair Pricing
Secure purchasing, with alternatives to credit-cards.
Selection (this could include a "request" capability for rare & independent music)I want what I want if I am to pay!

and basically all that I can find on any artists' webpage. and everything we're not getting when we used to buy cds.
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Don't worry about the return keys...

Postby siasl » Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:02 pm

Voodoohippie, I have not a clue how the blind post to forums. Speech recognition....? Anyway, your post gives
us another perspective on the term "portability" of content.
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Postby voodoohippie » Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:52 pm

I am known as a partially sighted person. I can use a magnification program like Zoomtext.

A totally Blind person has to use a screen reader program that converts the words in your screen momory to speech. Sometimes known as text to speech. Some Mp3 players have text to speech in them or a totally Blind person would just put the songs in there and just press play and let it rip and it plays what it plays or they remember approx where the songs would be. But Blind people use computers believe it or not. And big record companies don't think a blind person should even use a computer. I've had alot of weird emails about being legally Blind and useing a computer. All us Blind people love to use a computer to talk to the opposite sex just like sighted people do. Sorry this is off topic, but sighted people need to know that a Blind person can and will use the Internet just like you do. We want what we use to have and that is access and portibility without joe Gun from the law busting in on us and saying "Alright get away from that computer with your hands up."
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Postby pkrisnin » Thu Jul 28, 2005 11:32 pm

These pin head are trying to control the NEt which must not be allowed.

Also sound like most of the Senators had their minds made up already.,12 ... _tophead_3

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Postby raar » Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:43 am

I like your sig slogan, ain't it the truth?
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Postby pkrisnin » Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:39 pm

raar wrote:I like your sig slogan, ain't it the truth?

:lol: thinking of making it better any suggestion.
All feel free to use it. Let these bastards know what we think of them.
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Postby vtwin0001 » Fri Jul 29, 2005 8:36 pm

Their stupid salary is being paid by us, so they should bend to us first (somehting they usually forget)
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Postby pkrisnin » Sat Jul 30, 2005 12:36 am

In my mind these so call law makers just rank above rapist and muders.
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Postby Christopher » Sat Jul 30, 2005 10:11 am

Even the people who are WORKING for the MPAA and RIAA who have studied this subject have said that there is no way to filter these networks.
The only thing you would have to do to get around the filtering is: 1. Name a file something different than what it actually is and 2. Add white noise to an MP3 to change it's hash value.
The MPAA and RIAA should be looking to make money off the P2P networks, either by licensing the rights to share files to people and having them pay them in order to share them, or by just dropping the stupid restrictions on what you can do with music and letting people share.
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Postby eMbry00s » Sat Jul 30, 2005 5:31 pm

I'm just saying one thing:

I'm not going to let the record companies earn money on people downloading stuff from me. People download from me for free, and for free only. Free as in free beer.
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