Shoot someone? Not Smith & Wesson’s fault. Copy a movie? Grokster’s fault.

The Daily KOS has a great post comparing a law shielding the gun industry from lawsuits with the recent Grokster decision: Shoot someone? Not Smith & Wesson’s fault. Copy a movie? Grokster’s fault.

He makes an excellent point. We all know a lot of illegal file trading happens using Grokster, but the amount of misuse is not the issue. If the software has a legitimate purpose (there are plenty of legal files to be shared) it must be allowed to exist. A calculator can be used to help build a bomb – does that mean you can sue Texas Instruments when a bomb blows up your husband’s workplace? Not a chance. It’s just a tool.

Hollywood needs to realize that people are sending them a message: “Fix your distribution system, the current one is too slow and expensive!” Most companies/industries try to listen to their customers. The movie and music industry sues them…

Huge special interest groups (NRA et al) won’t ever let guns be banned, but Hollywood is lobbying hard to have P2P banned. Thankfully file sharing has it’s own advocates (EFF et al) but until the law is interpreted consistently it seems P2P will keep getting the shaft…