Waiting for Grokster

“I want everyone in the office by 9:15,” Gigi said, and sure enough at 9:15am I check my buddy list and everyone is there. The Supreme Court hands down rulings starting at 10:00, so we won’t hear until around 10:15-10:20, but we need to be prepared to swing into action at a moment’s notice, not just walking in to the office. I have the “Your Pocket Betamax Opinion” by my side, which fellow Public Knowledge intern Kay Lu gave to me (“courtesy of the Home Recording Rights Coalition“), my mail client open on one monitor and the SCOTUS blog open on the other, and once ten o’clock hits, I’m refreshing each window compulsively every 30 seconds.

“ANNOOUCEMENTS NOW IN PROCESS – STAY TUNED” screams one e-mail from a Grokster-watcher. Slowly, today’s stories unfold on the SCOTUS blog, as each decision is handed down… the last line of the post changes from “further decisions expected” to “at least one more decision expected.” Nail-biting anticipation ensues. Is today going to be the day? It would only make sense for them to save the big decision, the decision on the future of innovation in technology and the content industry’s business model, for last.

The title of the blog post suddenly changes to “Court announces decision in Kelo property-seizure case”, and intern Jay Tamboli says, “Where do they describe the Kelo case? Am I missing something?” Soon enough, his curiosity is satiated, as the decision in favor of the government appears on the blog. Disappointingly, the last line of the post shifts to “Further decisions will come on Monday.” Out on the west coast my friends interning with the EFF roll back into bed for a few more minutes of sleep, and on the east coast everyone returns to actually accomplishing work.

But only six decisions remain before the Court in this term, so get ready on Monday for some more nail-biting anxiety!

UPDATE: The decision is definitely coming out on Monday.

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