File Sharing Slowly Admitting Illegality

By Deane Barker on January 4, 2006

For file-sharers, it’s legal future or no future: Less and less file sharing networks are claiming legality after the Supreme Court ruled on Grokster last year.

That’s not to say file sharing will stop, it just means that networks can no longer hide behind a veneer of legal protection — they’re either going to cooperate with Big Media or admit their illegality and go underground.

Now, like the founder of Napster, Shawn Fanning, before them, Weiss and other file-sharing barons are facing their own day of reckoning after a U.S. Supreme Court decision last summer.

Over the past four months, several Napster heirs have shut down and others are contemplating what they once could not abide — doing business by the entertainment industry’s rules to survive.

“We can take a look at another four years of legal battles and spending millions of dollars on both sides,” Weiss said, adding: “Is that where I want to spend the next four years of my life? It’s better to focus the company’s energy on creating new technologies.”

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