Reexamine Sony v. Universal?
Thomas Hawk: Content Protection On An Open Platform, Why? | Thomas Hawk replied to my Content Protection On An Open Platform, How? post from last night. I’m planning on writing some things back to Thomas, but he brought up an interesting point that I would like everyone to ponder.
“Do you think when Sony created the BetaMax that they said we must create some kind of tool to prevent people from illegally videotaping Major League Baseball? After all, if we don't the content providers might stop broadcasting baseball? Of course not. Sony said to hell with Hollywood, we are making our machine and so what if it scorches and burns their world we are going to make a hell of a lot of money selling machines.”
Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc. (BetaMax) was decided in 1984. Since then, MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. has been decided.
"We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by the clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties." - Justice David Souter (MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd.)
Do we need to reexamine the BetaMax case to get a clear, concise ruling on what it means now? This would end the “Open v. Closed PC” argument that we have right now. Opinions?