The LA Times asked me to write an op-ed on the Grokster case from a Long Tail perspective. I thought the one missing element from the debate so far was the recognition that it's not just companies vs. consumers this time. The new amateur creative class, the "pro-ams", who populate much of the deep tail and depend on the open distribution technologies that are under attack, could be the losers if the Supreme Court sides with MGM and forces p2p networks to police content.
Two decades ago, when the famous Betamax case set a precedent that protected the VCR, it was consumers versus the studios and record labels. But now there's an equally important third party: the creative amateur — people like you and me who not only consume but also produce content. And they're on the side of Grokster and the extraordinary power of the new distribution networks.
Read it all here.