I’m rooting for Grokster, of course, in the case being argued at Ye Olde Supreme Court today. I mention this mainly because I make use of the peer-to-peer Gnutella network for a “substantial noninfringing use” — namely, to distribute ROX videos.
I keep Acquistion running most of the time on my home computer. But I never share copyrighted files with the network. I share only the eight or so gigabytes of audio and video data that are also available via rox.com. And every day a small number of these files are downloaded by other users on the network.
Granted, no one is getting on the darknet looking for ROX videos. When someone downloads a video of J mixing a Fat Albert, for example, they’re probably expecting something else. And they may well be mystified by what they get. And except for the full-length episodes, most of these videos give no indication of who we are or what ROX is. You can’t find the rox.com site from the video. So it isn’t really effective self-promotion.
But I don’t care. I like getting our stuff out there any way possible. It’s my way of injecting a little more chaos and madness into the world.
Of course, if ROX had a higher profile and people started trading our videos via peer-to-peer, that would be fine with me. And I’m sure I’m not alone. I’m sure there are plenty of oddball marginal artists distributing their work this way.
I’m sure the Supreme Court will keep this in mind.