Everyone on the net has heard about the recent US Supreme Court Ruling (MGM Studios Inc. et al v Grokster Ltd. et al) that went against the companies that make the file-sharing software, basically holding them accountable for the illegal actions of their users.

Justice David Souter wrote: “We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright… is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties”.

Has anyone considered how this might effect gun manufacturers?


   What if Lorcin, Bryco Arms or Smith & Wesson could be held accountable for the illegal actions of their users? After all the sort of things you can do with a gun deserves a lot heavier penalty that simply making a duplicate of someone else’s music. Wouldn’t it bring the gun industry to a grinding halt if every time a bullet made by one of those was used to commit a crime companies they could be charged with aiding and abetting? I think it would help slow production, maybe even raise the price of bullets so they wouldn’t be used so often. The gun nuts could still find a few if they felt so threatened that they just *had* to carry a loaded gun, and the rest of us could feel a lot safer knowing that there were less bullets being fired off at random.
   MindTangle has an email about corporate lawyers getting prepared to make a huge amount of money out of all of this. Either prosecuting or defending these ‘secondary liability’ suits, the people who stand to come out on top are the always the lawyers.

Update July 28th: BoingBoing have an article there on the subject.

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