TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: As File Sharing Nears High Court, Net Specialists Worry

As File Sharing Nears High Court, Net Specialists Worry

Monty Solomon (
Sat, 26 Mar 2005 09:40:17 -0500


SAN DIEGO, March 16 - As the bitter debate over computer file sharing
heads toward the Supreme Court, the pro-technology camp is growing
increasingly anxious.

Some technologists warn that if the court decides in favor of the
music and recording industries after hearing arguments in the MGM
v. Grokster case on March 29, the ruling could also stifle a
proliferating set of new Internet-based services that have nothing to
do with the sharing of copyrighted music and movies at issue in the
court case.

Some of those innovations were on display here at the Emerging
Technologies Conference, attended by about 750 hardware and software
designers. The demonstrations included Flickr, a Canadian service that
has made it possible for Web loggers and surfers to easily share and
catalog millions of digital photographs.

And Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief of executive of,
demonstrated a set of new features in the company's A9 search engine
designed to make it extremely simple for Web users to share searches
specially tailored to mine everything from newspapers to yellow pages
to catalogs of electronics parts.

Software designers from iFabricate, a small company in Emeryville,
Calif., displayed a new Web service intended to make it simple for
home inventors to share instructions for complex do-it-yourself garage
construction projects. Projects can be documented and shared with a
mixture of images, text, ingredient lists, computer-animated design
files and digital videos.

There was also a demonstration of Wikipedia, a volunteer-run online
encyclopedia effort that now has generated 1.5 million entries in 200

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