EFF: What Peer-to-Peer Developers Need to Know about Copyright Law

Fred von Lohmann has published an interesting article on the intricacies of law surrounding the development of P2P software entitled: What Peer-to-Peer Developers Need to Know about Copyright Law. It is a good article which tries to clearly describe what direct, contributory and vicarious liability means, and how developers can potentially avoid legal pitfalls in the development of these kinds of P2P software. Given the findings in the Grokster case, it would behoove potential authors of P2P software to read and understand each of the points raised. In particular, he believes that the Betamax defense (that it is enough to show that there are substantial non-infringing uses) is under concerted attack (like the INDUCE act) and in his words:

In short, the law surrounding the Betamax defense remains in flux, putting P2P developers (and all technologists) on unpredictable legal ground.

In the end, the article concludes with 10 bits of advice for potential P2P developers.

These are steps you can take that may: (1) reduce the chance that your project will be an easy, inviting target for copyright owners; and (2) minimize the chances that your case will become the next legal precedent that content owners can use to threaten future innovators.

Worth reading, especially if you are interested in developing P2P applications.

Sigh, A’s fall to second place…

No Joy in Muddville!Well, the A’s fall a game behind the Anaheim Angels with 4 games left to play. I like Jim Mecir, but it seems to me that you just can’t make him the guy you hang your season on. Nobody is really fooled by that screwball anymore (the pitch, not Jim), and you are risking a passed ball when you bring him in to pitch with a guy on third. Sigh. Well, for the first time in 50-something games, the A’s are in second place. Let’s see how they close out the rest of the season.

Woohoo! Validation!

I was surfing this morning and noticed that Dave Slusher, the Evil Genius, had provided a link to this site in the announcement of his audioblog. So, I synched my iPod and set off for the drive to work, eagerly awaiting the mention of this humble blog. What would he say about me? Did he have some criticism? I know I’ve had technical problems. Did he find some particular rant that I’ve made in the last two days interesting? What could it be?

It was simply this:

“Like brainwagon? Love it.”

I think that’s going to be my new motto.