You like your iPod? You dig that part of 21st Century life is a neverending stream of new and exciting gadgets? Salon’s Andrew Leonard has a fantastic piece up about why the Grokster case — argued
before the Supreme Court yesterday — is so damned important
. Edward Felten, a Princeton prof who’s no stranger to this and related issues, notes a brief real-world example
of the future that awaits us if this decision goes the wrong way. If the court fails to, uh, grok what’s at stake here, you can kiss certain kinds of innovation good-bye, and you’ll have the big entertainment companies to thank.
It’s interesting to note that in arguments yesterday, one idea that got kicked around was that business models might be useful in determining whether a new technology is legal. If that’s the way the court goes, what will it mean for new technologies offered up by geeks for free
, absent any business model at all?