Monday, January 31, 2005

Peer to Peer, made illegal?

This one had passed me by entirely. Apparently the MGM vs Grokster case, currently on its way to Supreme Court of the United States, may make peer-to-peer software illegal (at least if the decision goes the wrong way) in the US under the DMCA.

That's pretty scary, we're not talking about distributing illegal copies of movies or songs here, that's already illegal, well at least in most places anyway. We're talking about making a specific type of software architecture illegal, this would cause no end of problems. After all, the architectural ideas behind peer-to-peer software aren't just limited to sharing files, for instance Apple Rendezvous is built around a peer-to-peer architecture. Would that be illegal?

A lot of the concepts I've been talking about for mobile data are entirely peer-to-peer based. What happens to them? I can see a day where carrying my mobile phone into the States would be committing a crime. Worse yet, I can see a day where doing so in the UK would be committing a crime. May I should emigrate after all...