My, what a wonderfully liberated world we live in...
It is a victory for lawyers, multinationals and small minded thinkers everywhere this week as Grokster has finally shut up shop.
The P2P software developer ran out of money to fight the producers of air brained, big budget Hollywood garbage and composers of ball-less, soulless, synchronised dance pop tat at the US Supreme Court over copyright law and consequently forfeited its case. The ruling: close down immediately and cough up $50m to the aforementioned IQ shrinkers.
On Monday Grokster’s site was forced to put up an ignominious holding page where it declared itself illegal. Like a phoenix from the ashes, however, it also went on to declare it will be launching its own “legal service” soon. Called Grokster3G, it will be live before the year turns and is run by a parent company “Mashboxx”. There is already a website and an email link on it for those who wish to be included in the upcoming beta testing.
To this day, Grokster lawyer Michael Page insists he believes the company would have won the case had it not run out of cash to pay (his?!) spiralling legal bills. It would actually be an interesting day in American law if cases didn’t filibuster the little guy into certain financial ruin. Until that point however, the Metallicas of this world will moan about “their cut” from behind monolithic studios and deluge us with lyrical irrelevance while Michael Bay gets well paid to direct yet another mind numbing, spirit crushing turkey.
By contrast, real musicians like Massive Attack and (well early) Morcheeba and cult directors such as Jim Jarmusch and David Lynch endorse P2P telling us that it helps distribute their art to a wider audience. They argue they get handsomely paid anyway and their greatest pleasure comes from creating something anyone anywhere in the world can experience. But hey, what would they know about merchandising and profit margins?