By Richard Menta 3/14/05
The press states that the Grokster/Morpheus court case against the record industry has already cost a whopping $4 million in legal fees. In this instance, the P2P companies won both their lower court action and now present to the Supreme Court of the US. This means even higher costs as winning twice doesn't protect against expensive appeals. Few companies, and certainly very few individuals, can finance such endeavors.
This is why so many choose not to fight in court, even if they strongly feel they are right. Winning is phyrric under these conditions for all but the well-funded.
So who can blame the self-shutdown of several Australian P2P hubs based on the recent raids of like entities in that country. The Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI) is behind these raids and their chief Michael Speck has stated that the "MIPI has already laid down several targets for future raids".
The MIPI is not waiting on the possibility that KaZaa may win its case in Australia, an outcome that could protect these hubs. No one wants to be sued and so many of these sites are closing, scared off by the prohibitive costs.
According to Whirlpool news Torrent site VIXBit has shut stating "We decided it was time for Vixbit to call it a day." The same goes for PeeringSA.
These high profile raids are proving to be an effective and intimidating tool for the entertainment industry, who will later point their fingers and say these site closed simply because they knew they were wrong.
I say it has more to do with common sense. These hubs are not run by continental soldiers, but fans and entrepreneurs. If these issues have to go to court to define their legitimacy - something I do not have a problem with - level the playing field so that these decisions are based on the merits of law and not on the principle that the winner is the one who has the most money and political influence.
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