Home > News > Supreme Court Sets Date for Grokster Case • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options


Supreme Court Sets Date for Grokster Case

Supreme Court Sets Date for Grokster Case
Get XBIZ News
XBIZ Research
Will virtual reality boost the paysite market?
Yes, it will soon
Yes, but in a few years
Out of 179 votes. Results based on votes submitted by members of XBIZ.net social network.
Jan 24, 2005 6:01 AM PST    Text size: 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments in MGM v. Grokster, a case that will decide whether peer-to-peer software companies and file-sharing networks are responsible for the actions of end users, on March 29.

Entertainment companies, including the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America, hope to set a legal precedent that would make P2P companies liable for revenue the entertainment industry claims its losing due to illegal sharing of copyrighted material by P2P products users.

The hearings will be the final step in a series of court cases dating back to 2001. So far, the P2P companies have won victories in both U.S. District Court and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Both lower court rulings were based largely on the Supreme Court’s decision in the 1984 Sony Betamax case, which determined that Sony was not liable for copyright violations committed by users of its Betamax video recorders.

In that case, the court pointed to the fact that Sony’s product also had, and was intended for, legal, noninfringing uses as a deciding factor in its ruling.

But Hollywood argues that the Betamax case doesn’t provide a suitable precedent since Sony had no way of preventing illegal use of its recorders, whereas P2P software developers can code applications to block illegal file sharing.

Fred von Lohmann, senior intellectual property attorney at the Electronic Freedom Foundation, which is helping to defend the P2P companies, said he is confident the Supreme Court will reaffirm the Betamax ruling.

“In 1984, the Supreme Court announced a general rule — that technology companies will not be held responsible for the sins of their customers, so long as the technology in question is capable of noninfringing uses,” von Lohmann told XBiz. “That rule applies today just a much to the makers of P2P software, iPods, CD burners, and TiVos as it did in 1984 to the makers of VCRs.”

“The entertainment industry has been attacking the Betamax principle for several years now in several cases, so I think it is appropriate for the question to be answered by the Supreme Court,” von Lohmann added.

A final ruling in the case is expected by the end of July.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !


Data Privacy Is Tightening Up in the E.U.

Have you begun preparing for GDPR? If you are like most, you haven’t even heard of GDPR, but also if you are like most, it is going to affect your business, starting May 25, 2018. The GDPR, or General... More »

Preventing Legal Problems Before They Start

Dentists typically recommend that a person’s teeth be cleaned every six months and that oral X-rays be taken at least once every year. Internists recommend that a person receive a physical examination... More »

Could Adult Content Be Banned?

Earlier this month, I met with the Free Speech Coalition’s board of directors for our annual review. Despite the headwinds our industry faces, politically and economically, we are, as an organization,... More »
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.

Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ World magazine, the industry's leading e-commerce trade publication, delivering in-depth coverage of the online, mobile and ancillary digital markets.


XBIZ Retreat

May 30 - Jun 03
Miami, Florida

XBIZ Miami 2017

May 30 - Jun 02
Miami, Florida

XShow 18+ 2017

Jun 01 - Jun 03
Moscow, Russia

Cam Summit

Jun 02 - Jun 04
Lloret de Mar, Spain
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!