High Court Rules Against Grokster

Ru-oh. So much for the betamax precedent.

High Court Rules Against Grokster:

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that Grokster can be sued if consumers use its file-sharing software to illegally swap songs and movies while also deciding in favor of cable companies seeking to deny rivals access to broadband lines.

The two rulings will help determine not just how consumers will access high-speed Internet from their homes in the future, but how they'll be able to share information. While the Grokster decision reopens the battle between technology and entertainment companies over who is liable for illegal file-sharing, the Brand X internet decision helps set the rules under which the Federal Communications Commission will decide how companies will compete to offer broadband Internet services.

..The Ninth Circuit drew on a 1984 Supreme Court decision involving Betamax, a video recorder sold by Sony Corp. In that case, the justices ruled that Sony couldn't be held liable for copyright infringement by Betamax customers, because Betamax had legal uses as well as illegal ones.
The entertainment companies argued that the Betamax rule should be revisited in an age when a movie file can be zapped around the world in a few minutes over a high-speed Internet connection—a technology that wasn't conceived of back then. They said it was unfair to back services whose primary uses are illegal, although they said they weren't against the technology itself.

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on June 27, 2005 10:47 AM.

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