Talk about going out with a bang! Yesterday’s Supreme Court rulings are front page news across America today. I’m tempted to write about the conflicting opinions on the Ten Commandments, since the spinners and sinners in Texas will certainly make hay out of their “victory,” but I found the court’s opinions in the Grokster and NCTA cases of greater interest, if not relevance to those of us attuned to the issues surrounding consumer access to digital content.
I don’t profess to be an expert on the myriad nuances involved in either case, but I do know that those who create content, whether it’s delivered in the form of an MP3, AAC, MPEG, JPEG, WAV, or DOC, deserve to have that content protected. The ruling against file sharing software companies Grokster and others will help further this principle, though probably not eliminate the practice. There are too many forces at work to keep the lawyers at the media/entertainment companies busy for the foreseeable future.
On the NCTA victory, I’d say that the cable companies have bigger fish to fry given the deployment of fiber into consumers’ homes by Verizon and SBC to name just two. I know The Times reported that SBC is slow in its delivery-by-fiber programming plans, but it will happen eventually, and then just maybe the price we pay to watch TV will begin to follow the pricing trends for the hardware on which we watch it.