AfterDawn: Tech news takes MPAA fight to Supreme Court

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 21 Apr 2005 20:37 User comments (8) takes MPAA fight to Supreme Court Michael Jay Rossi, President of Inc. is turning to the Supreme Court in his fight against the MPAA for the wrongful shut down of his website in 2001. The Ninth Circuit Court ruled that good faith belief under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is subjective and not objective. "The Ninth Circuit Court's subjective interpretation of good faith belief stated in the DMCA is unconstitutional, allowing copyright holders to abuse people's rights without conducting proper investigation on alleged violations." said Rossi.
In the Ninth Circuit ruling, Judge Johnnie B. Rawlinson states, "Applying the subjective good faith standard of #512(c) and viewing the record in the light most favourable to Rossi, Rossi failed to raise a genuine issue of material fact regarding the MPAA's violation of the DMCA." However Rossi is not convinced and believes his attorney James Fosbinder did indeed raise a genuine issue of material fact regarding the MPAA's violation of the DMCA. The MPAA accused him of offering movies for download, including one that wasn’t released or even finished production yet.

"Plaintiff Rossi did not ever offer any movies for download from his site, contrary to the MPAA's express statements to the contrary in their violation letters, and in fact he could not have done so given the server space available for his site at that time. Interestingly, one of the movies he was accused of having available for download in 2001, 'Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King' did not even come out until December of 2003", Fosbinder stated in his Appellant's Opening Brief to the 9th Circuit Court.

"My fear is that if the Ninth Circuit court's ruling that the DMCA Good Faith standard is subjective is not overturned, is that copyright owners will continue to abuse the law unjustly shutting down online publications like mine giving them an unfair advantage in the marketplace and abridging free speech. Also in danger is the right given by the Fifth Amendment to due process in cases of lost life, liberty or property. The freedom to defend oneself is being curtailed by the 'shoot now, ask later' style of shutting people down when offences may not be occurring. Any industry or person should not have the power to curb the rights of another under the protection of the DMCA's subjective interpretation of good faith belief." Rossi said.


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8 user comments

121.4.2005 20:58

I hope this guy wins.It's about time sombody took the MPAA to the supreme court.I think that there getting out of hand on this one.

222.4.2005 5:11

He does raise some interesting concerns about legislation and possibly biased decissions in the courts.

322.4.2005 5:23

It's high time the Supreme Court took a look at DMCA. I believe that this legislation is unconstitutional and is giving government agencies and copyright owners a free pass to circumvent the constitution. One by one, our rights are taken away from us and it's time we, as Americans, stand up and shout, in the immortal words of Dee Snyder and Twisted Sister, "Were not gonna take it!"

422.4.2005 6:23

One could make the argument that parts of the constitution is outdated and should be revised to better fit the needs of a modern society.

522.4.2005 8:50

Would you really want our government mucking about with the Constitution? I can imagine the revised version now...

622.4.2005 9:02

in the intent of the law they(the RIAA and the mpaa)are abusing the system by filing bogus lawsuite that will in the end force the courts to rewrite the law and if they keep it up it will not fall in their favor ... wow saying that the 3rd part was downloaded 2 years befor it was even created only speeks volumes about the lawyer filing it for them and can we say "your fired" because we all know he is now for being an idiot.... anyway I hope Michael Jay Rossi wins he's got a good chance but whether or not he'll have any money left after the dust settles will remain to be seen... good luck

722.4.2005 9:21

Damaged75- Your post sounds as if you believe that US legislators and judges are not now and/or have not "mucked about" with the constitution already. How about the Patriot Act just to name one thing?

822.4.2005 9:23

Ok I meant muck about more *grin*

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