minutia press.
File-sharing software

Our Supreme Court is about to consider the "file trial" in which those who sell software that allows file sharing stand accused of fostering the copying of copyrighted materials.

I don't get it.

If people who make guns aren't guilty (and quite rightly so in my opinion) of murder when a person uses a gun to kill somebody, why would a file-sharing software vendor be guilty of the copyright violations? Don't file-sharing programs also have legal, even beneficial uses? Why is this case even in court.

And finally, do we really believe that the 5-4 cases are that close in fact? I don't think they are. I think the Court essentially decides how things will turn out, and then the record reflects whether the case might go a different way in the future. Otherwise, how could such scholars look at the same facts and find so differently and by such a narrow margin? So I think 5-4 is the S.C.'s way of saying: "We are going with the "5" opinion but in the future you can say: gee, it was a 5-4 ruling so maybe it could go the other way."