AfterDawn: Tech news

P2P case hits Supreme Court

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 30 Mar 2005 16:24 User comments (8)

P2P case hits Supreme Court On Tuesday the major P2P case, MGM vs. Grokster arrived at the Supreme Court to begin a battle that will determine whether or not developers and owners of P2P networks can be held responsible for the copyright infringement that takes place on the network. Justices showed concerns over holding the inventors liable for copyright infringement as they believed it could discourage new inventions. You have to remember that simple items such as VCR's, tape recorders and photocopiers could also be used for copyright infringement but they are considered to be legal.
The key to the legality of these items is the fact that they have massive amounts of "legitimate uses". The world saw this example first hand in 1984 when the Supreme Court ruled that Sony Corp. couldn't be sued over consumers who used their products for copyright infringement. The entertainment industry's lawyer, Donald Verrilli Jr, said that his clients have no plans to sue any company that takes steps to prevent piracy but claimed that Grokster encourages mass copyright infringement on its network.

He referred to it as a gigantic engine of infringement and claimed it is responsible for the stealing of 2.6 billion copyrighted works monthly. "The scale of the whole thing is mind-boggling," he said. The entertainment industry is eager to increase legal sales online and pointed out Apple's iPod device which is capable of playing music purchased from the iTunes music store. However Justice David H. Souter was quick to point out that stolen music can also be played on an iPod. "I know perfectly well if I can get music on my iPod without paying, that's what I'm going to do," said Souter.

He then went on to question why the entertainment industry doesn't sue Apple on the same grounds as Grokster but Verrilli said it was because Apple took reasonable steps to discourage piracy. However, it wasn't just a day of questions for the entertainment industry either. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy questioned Grokster's lawyer, Richard Taranto whether profits from trafficking in stolen property can rightfully be used to help finance a young technology business. "That seems wrong to me," Kennedy said.

A ruling is expected before July. It is important to point out that no matter what the outcome, it wont actually have any effect on the legality of downloading copyrighted music and movies online (in the United States), and lawsuit campaigns from the entertainment industry against P2P users will continue. Two lower court decisions have already sided with Grokster; saying P2P has so many legitimate uses that it should be given a chance to thrive.

Source:
ABC News

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8 user comments

130.3.2005 17:19

go Grokster!

231.3.2005 8:40

"...MGM vs. Grokster arrived at the Supreme Court to begin a battle that will determine whether or not developers and owners of P2P networks can be held responsible for the copyright infringement that takes place on the network." IMHO that line should read "...ALLEGED COPYRIGHT INFRINGMENT..." The RIAA has yet to convict even ONE person of infringment in all 8000 plus cases that have been filed.

331.3.2005 11:02

Well................................................................................................................................ never mind!

51.4.2005 19:14

P2P will win...we all know this! It is ridiculous to try and halt technology because people are alot smarter than them. Honestly, if they put out selling songs online before p2p apps went mainstream, they wouldn't be crying like sissy @ss girls, now would they. I for one, can't wait for the day, that I read an article and I see the words: MPAA and RIAA loses profits in the millions due to P2P programs! Yeah....I can't wait to see that one! ;)


"From now on we are poison to you Spider-man...Thats why we call ourselves...VENOM"

66.4.2005 6:04

You know this is not a doctor cutting you open and leaving you crippeled, they put a cap on that.

76.4.2005 7:13

Eh?

86.4.2005 15:17
stonner
Inactive

Did anyone notice EZTorrent shut down?

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