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Groking Grokster


Todays’ eWeek column is a little peek at the future, the immediate and the slightly more distant. I have preview copy of J.D. Lasica’s Darknet:Hollywood’s War Against the Digital Generation so I called Lasica up for a chat.
Turns out he didn’t just write a book. He and Marc Cantor have started something they’re calling Kinda kewl. And even better demonstration of his theories: I knew the column was up at eWeek when I saw that Lasica had mentioned the column on his site.
Until you think – as The New York Times’ John Markoff is pointing out today – about the Supreme Court hearing, MGM v. Grokster. I have a sneaking suspicion that a court ruling in Hollywood’s favor isn’t going to be the slam dunk everything thinks. I suspect it may well galvanize the very folks in Lasica’s book– normal Joes and Josies who just happen to like fiddling with gizmos – in ways that the studio dudes don’t quite grasp.
Why? Look at what folks like Josh Micah Marshall are doing on their on-line sites. Marhall is using technology – the power of his network of readers – teaching them how to lobby Congress. Imagine if the issue that everyone worried about wasn’t the great, but for many people somewhat esoteric, fight over Social Security, but a smack-down on how you could use your TiVo, your iPod or your computer. The conventional wisdom in Washington has always been that the TV broadcasters got what they wanted from Congress because they’ve got a TV station in every district; Hollywood gets what it wants because of its star-power and fundraising ability. Those two political realities could be sorely tested very soon by tech-savvy on-line activists.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 10:21 AM | Permalink

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