Appleâ€™s Podcasting attempt might face Grokster Legal Case hassles
Apple has just updated their iPod range of music players to become all color. More importantly, they also added support for the popular Podcasting feature in their iPod music player. Users of iPods can now download and listen to Podcasts on their iPod music device. Apple also enabled Podcasting support on their iTunes Music Store. The new service encourages iTunes users to subscribe to Podcasts, which are self-published radio programming and allows them to publish their own to their servers.
Their might be problems for Apple if we take into consideration the recent Supreme Court ruling in the MGM vs. Grokster case. The courts stated that the companies enabling file sharing could be sued for the actions of the users of their services. This means that organizations like RIAA and MPAA can sue Apple if users post copyrighted material to the iTunes servers making it available for download to other users. However, the ruling also mentioned that the intent of the file sharing service should be taken into consideration when making such decisions.
Apple iTunes would primarily be offering a list of the top 100 Podcasts and highlights programs in different categories, such as public radio, morning shows and talk radio. The company would however have to strictly monitor Podcasts for infringing material. They are on their part offering a complaint form on their Stores website for users to complain about any illegal material available on their stores made available for Podcasts.
However, market analysts believe that Apple is less likely to get legal hassles due to actions taken by their users. The iTunes business model is a shining example of how music can be shared legally on the net. They have a clear intent of making money by selling music through iTunes. Podcasting is a relatively new concept and the company seems to be making enough efforts to highlight that they are not in fact enticing users to share copyrighted content.
We will have to see what future has in store for Podcasting on Apple iTunes.