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Grokster dies but debate lives on

While the Grokster we've come to know has officially died (blog headlines include language like "RIP Grokster" and "Grokster bites the dust"), the name is sure to live on in the ongoing debate over file-swapping and copyrights, if not through a planned new legal version of the site.


Grokster agreed to stop distributing its peer-to-peer software and shut down the site following a $50 million legal settlement announced Monday with Hollywood studios and record labels.

Along with co-defendant StreamCast Networks, Grokster had been accused by the music and movie industries of contributing to widespread copyright infringement by people who used its software to download songs and films. Monday's settlement comes four months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled substantially in the entertainment companies' favor.

Bloggers were quick to ponder the significance of the ruling. Some look forward to a legal Grokster, which sources say could be a rebranded version of Mashoxx. To others, however, the court ruling sets some disturbing precedent.

Blog community response:

"Like with (the original) Napster, an army of lawyers has proven that even a resource manufacturer can be treated like a criminal. Even if that manufacturer never did any crime themselves. For the record let me say that I do not use services like Grokster...But just the same this outcome sets a disturbing trend that everyone better take note of!"
--Independent Conservative

"Hate to burst your bubble Horrywood, but the genie's already out of the bottle. And btw, might make for an interesting poll, but has anything come out from the movie or music industries since the turn of the century that's really been worth stealing?"
--Super Fun Power Hour

"Grokster goes down...as filesharing goes up! You can't/will not/shall not kill online piracy, unless you're uninterested in the future and its development."