Sunday, July 03, 2005

U.S. Supreme Court: Grokster File-Sharing Ruling Resources

Last week, in a long-awaited decision, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) unanimously ruled that two file sharing services, Grokster and Streamcast, can be sued for actively encouraging or "inducing" copyright infringement by their users.

Interestingly, writing in the Toronto Star, University of Ottawa law prof Michael Geist commented that "the decision may actually provide helpful guidance to other file sharing services on how they can survive in the current legal climate. In seeking to define the meaning of 'active inducement', the court ruled that liability would require a demonstration of 'purposeful, culpable expression and conduct.' Moreover, it concluded that there would be no liability for knowledge of potential or actual infringement; no liability for product support or technical updates, and no liability for failure to take affirmative steps to prevent infringement."

Two major resource collections have been set up about the case:
  • the U.S. Copyright Office has created Supreme Court Rules in MGM v. Grokster : links to the SCOTUS decision and concurrences and to briefs filed by various parties in support of the petitioners or of the file-sharing software firms
  • the Electronic Frontier Foundation has set up MGM v. Grokster : links to the decision, statements from various parties, briefs filed at different stages


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:29 pm


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