The second you show a hint of â€inducement,â€ you open your company up to having a court pick over the bones of every e-mail from every engineer, every call and every PowerPoint presentation, looking for evidence of thoughtcrime: Have you had a subversive thought while designing this? Did it ever occur to you that you could have made it a little clunkier and, in so doing, made it less infringing? Two companies that ship the same product face different liability based on whether one of them had an engineer who told her manager that she thought she could make it harder to infringe copyright merely by doubling the cost of development.
This decision won´t kill P2P sharing. Engineering students write P2P software in 11 lines of code as class assignments. Most Internet users use file-sharing software, and that´s not going to stop, no matter how many lawsuits the labels win against customers and companies. P2P will outlast today´s generation of technophobic record execs who are steering their companies to slow, spectacular suicide.