Ganked this one straight from Daily Kos, via Boing Boing:

WARNING: Severe Cognitive Dissonance Ahead!

Hollywood wins Internet piracy battle
The U.S. Supreme Court rules against file-sharing service Grokster in a closely watched piracy case.

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled [last month] that software companies can be held liable for copyright infringement when individuals use their technology to download songs and movies illegally.

[Hollywood’s] victory [last month]…dealt a big blow to technology companies, which claim that holding them accountable for the illegal downloading of songs, movies, video games and other proprietary products would stifle their ability to develop new products.

We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties,” Justice Souter wrote.

Wait for it… wait for it…

Senate Moves to Shield Gun Industry

WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans on Tuesday moved the National Rifle Association’s top priority ahead of a $491 billion defense bill, setting up a vote on legislation to shield firearms manufacturers and dealers from lawsuits over gun crimes.

The president believes that the manufacturer of a legal product should not be held liable for the criminal misuse of that product by others,” said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. “We look at it from a standpoint of stopping lawsuit abuse.”

The bill would prohibit lawsuits against the firearms industry for damages resulting form the unlawful use of a firearm or ammunition.

[Senator Larry] Craig said such lawsuits are “predatory and aimed at bankrupting the firearms industry,” unfairly blaming dealers and manufacturers for the crimes of gun users.

Got that? If a company makes a product that is inappropriately used to illegally copy a movie, that company is liable. If a company makes a product that is inappropriately used to illegally kill a human, that company is not liable. What’s the common logic holding these disparate concepts together? Massive corporate special interest money. Welcome to your government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations, where a pirated copy of “Hollywood Homicide” is bigger threat than an actual Hollywood homicide.

This is such a crock. How soon until I can afford to bail from this bass-ackwards country?

iTunesNo One is Fax Exempt” by Rollins, Henry from the album Think Tank (1998, 19:28).

7 thoughts on “Dissonance in Liability

  1. IT’s not QUITE the same thing, unfortunately. The key statement in the ruling against Grokster is this:

    distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright

    Grom everything I’ve read about the Grokster case, they had ads all over their website (and other places) saying “Download any movies, any songs, you want, free!”. If the gun companies had TV ads saying “Shoot your neighbour, rob a bank, carjack a BMW, quickly and easily!” then we would have a much easier comparison.

  2. Eeeh…you people, throwing logic in the face of my righteous indignation (and peanut butter in my chocolate, and vice versa). ;)

    That does make sense, yeah. But even given the foolish (at best) advertising used for the P2P clients, the disparity in the resulting opinions still rubs me the wrong way.

  3. As an officer in the Washington State Young Democrats and the Kitsap Country Democratic Party I would just like to go on record and say that only losers run to Canada while real hard core progressives stay and fight here.

  4. Who ever said I was running to Canada?

    Europe’s much more my style. ;)

    And even if I were to leave — which, all frustrated grumbling aside, certainly isn’t a given — it wouldn’t be for a good few years anyway, as I want to get through school with at least one degree first…and by the time that happens, Bush will be out of office, and (knock on wood) things will have started to turn back around again.

    I’ll grumble, whine, bitch and moan, and occasionally talk about giving up and heading out of the country, but in the real world, I’ll be sticking around for a while.

  5. @ Ryan – Ahh, that makes me feel somewhat better that this is such blatant hipocrisy. It kind of sound like Grokster was not the kind of company we wanted representing the legitimate P2P networks.

  6. I took a decade for you to actually move from Anchorage to Seattle. I think it may be more like a century for you to get to Europe (Germany?) to live! Sorry, but I’m not packing my suitcase to visit you across the pond. But Oregon, yea, that sounds good. See you the 19th.

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