AfterDawn: Tech news

Grokster-Morpheus P2P case back in court

Written by Jari Ketola @ 02 Feb 2004 3:17 User comments (4)

Grokster-Morpheus P2P case back in court One of the most important P2P cases returns to court on Tuesday. The lawyers for both the entertainment industry and the P2P operators Grokster and StreamCast Networks (Morpheus) will be making their case in the Court of Appeals in Pasadena, California.
In April 2003, U.S. district court in Los Angeles ruled that Grokster and StreamCast Networks cannot be held liable for the copyright infringements that are taking place using their software. The entertainment industry disagrees. The plaintiffs, including movie studios, record labels, RIAA, and NMPA hope to convince the appeals court to reverse the earlier ruling.

Both parties will have 30 minutes in which to make their case. Obviously the subsequent ruling will have a huge impact on either the entertainment industry or software developers in general.

"The services are profiting to the tune of millions of dollars from music that is written by songwriters who are not getting a dime from the use of their music on these services," said Carey Ramos, a lawyer for the plaintiffs. "We believe that the (lower court's) conclusion is fundamentally unjust."

On the other hand the ruling tests the Betamax legal doctrine. In 1984 the Supreme Court ruled that Sony was not liable for copyright infringements taking place using their VCRs. The same doctrine applies to CD- and DVD-recordable drives and media, recording software etc. Should the ruling be overturned in the Grokster / Morpheus case it would essentially mean that software developers would have to obtain a permission from each and every copyright owner for software that enable users to exchange data.

"This is not just a case about peer-to-peer," countered Fred von Lohmann, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "It is a case that will determine whether technology companies are allowed to innovate or whether they have to ask permission from copyright owners before they build new products."

The ruling from the appeals court is not expected anytime soon.

Source: Wired

Previous Next  

4 user comments

13.2.2004 05:55

Watch out for these Appeals Courts in California. They are extremely liberal in favor of the Music Industry. One good thing is that their adverse ruling usually gets overturned. These guys have a track record that is terrible. Best to All! Rodgers

23.2.2004 08:10

Rodgers, question for you. Are you saying that democrats ("liberal") are politically backing the entertainment industry more so than republicans in California? Are we talking like say, Arnold Schwarzenegger? I'm not arguing your post. Just curious if I understand it correctly.

33.2.2004 08:38

Answer for you GrayArea. Please reread my post and this time particularly notice I have not mentioned the Democrats. My discussion specifically has to do with the liberal judges in California that have a terrible track record and have been frequently over-ruled in their decisions. It might also be of interest to you to recognize that the great majority of registered voters in California just happen to be Democrats. The powers of the Music and Video world are located in California. Hope my additional comments clarifies my point. Best to All! Rodgers

43.2.2004 12:00

Thanks Rodgers, I was curious about what you meant with regards to the "L" word. Don't know that I agree with the assertion that the movie and music industry's agenda of controlling the world is backed by or in line with liberal politics. Perhaps that's not exactly what you meant. Seems to me the current federal administration is ever so sympathetic to the big money media corporations, and I wouldn't exactly call them liberal. There's a track record that could use some scrutiny. Don't get me wrong; I'm not jumping to the defense of liberals. Always interesting to hear what other people's take on things is. Thanks for the clarifications.

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive