There’s a great entry over at Daily Kos titled: Shoot someone? Not Smith & Wesson’s fault. Copy a movie? Grokster’s fault. First up, the SCOTUS ruling on case against P2P file sharing company Grokster:
[Hollywood’s] victory [last month]… dealt a big blow to technology companies, which claim that holding them accountable for the illegal downloading of songs, movies, video games and other proprietary products would stifle their ability to develop new products.
“We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties,” Justice Souter wrote.
Now consider legislation being introduced with regards to gun makers:
Senate Republicans on Tuesday moved the National Rifle Association’s top priority ahead of a $491 billion defense bill, setting up a vote on legislation to shield firearms manufacturers and dealers from lawsuits over gun crimes.
“The president believes that the manufacturer of a legal product should not be held liable for the criminal misuse of that product by others,” said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.” We look at it from a standpoint of stopping lawsuit abuse.”
The bill would prohibit lawsuits against the firearms industry for damages resulting form the unlawful use of a firearm or ammunition.
[Senator Larry] Craig said such lawsuits are “predatory and aimed at bankrupting the firearms industry,” unfairly blaming dealers and manufacturers for the crimes of gun users.
RadicalRuss sums it up for us with the following:
Got that? If a company makes a product that is inappropriately used to illegally copy a movie, that company is liable. If a company makes a product that is inappropriately used to illegally kill a human, that company is not liable. What’s the common logic holding these disparate concepts together? Massive corporate special interest money. Welcome to your government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations, where a pirated copy of “Hollywood Homicide”* is bigger threat than an actual Hollywood homicide.
Only in America.