posted Feb 28, 2001

Napster Ruling Requires Devs. Ensure No One Misuses System Programmer's Rights2/28/2001; 10:54:00 AM 'The 9th Circuit's holding also dramatically narrowed Betamax's protection against vicarious liability by requiring technology providers to affirmatively police their systems for potential infringement, a practice which essentially forces technology creators to serve as law enforcement for the content industry, even in the absence of notification that specific infringement has occurred.'Another ruling that makes perfect sense... if you never look past the case at hand. This may make sense in the context of Napster, but is this really such a great idea in the long run? This is an incredibly restrictive standard... one content owner claims infringement and suddenly you're liable for everything that goes on in your system (bearing in mind that the music companies still have not demonstrated infringement, merely alleged it. I think there is infringement going on by legal standards, yes, but it's disturbing that nobody's willing to actually prove it's happenning.).Why on earth, under these standards, would you ever release anything that might even as a side effect allow people to share content? Geocities ought to shut down now and get it over with, before they get sued for everything they've ever hosted that was infringing. This ruling, as the EFF essay points out, was anything but balanced.


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