Quantcast
"There are seminal issues before the Court, including the future of the creative industries and legitimate Internet commerce. These are questions not about a particular technology, but the abuse of that technology by practitioners of a parasitical business model."
——Mitch Bainwol, RIAA
GROKSTER CASE HEADS TO SUPREME COURT
Justices Will Decide Whether P2P Services Can be Held Liable for Acts of Piracy
Here comes the judge(s).

The U.S. Supreme Court decided today that they will hear the so-called Grokster case, which pits the entertainment industry against the peer-to-peer filing networks that permit millions to share music, movies and digital info. The Court had been deliberating whether to hear the case since last month.

Insiders have called the case "one of the most important commercial cases to reach the court in decades," with nothing less than the "legitimacy of our coyright system in the digital age" at stake.

Grokster supporters have been portraying the case as the David software developers against the Goliaths of the U.S. entertainment cabal, arguing court interference could stifle the growth and innovation of technology.

Music business dissenters claim "the real Davids are the recording artists and songwriters, most of whom scrape along on what they earn from what they create... Their livelihoods are being attacked by those who participate in this ripping off of recorded music. The Constitution's intention was to provide protection for the rights of the creators to foster the development of our economy and culture." Obviously, someone who's never downloaded a track from KaZAa.

At issue is whether Grokster's parent company StreamCast, can be held liable under copyright law for the acts of piracy committed by its software. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in August that the company was not liable because its software could be used for legitimate reasons that do not violate copyright law, citing the landmark 1984 ruling in favor of Sony's Betamax, allowing it to videotape programming.

The industry then filed an appeal, and now the Supreme Court will rule.

RIAA chief Mitch Bainwol was predictably ecstatic: “We appreciate that the Supreme Court has agreed to review this case.  There are seminal issues before the Court, including the future of the creative industries and legitimate Internet commerce.  These are questions not about a particular technology, but the abuse of that technology by practitioners of a parasitical business model.  

“Without strong rules of the road, there will never be a level playing field for the multitude of legitimate online music services trying to do the right thing.  Already, compelling, viable technological tools like filtering are available and are being utilized in the marketplace.  Peer-to-peer networks today filter for viruses, so why not filter out infringing copyrighted works as well?  We look forward to presenting the argument that a misguided appellate court decision should be reversed.”

A few things that have occurred since that appeal include the introduction of Napster founder Shawn Fanning's Snocap digital rights management technology, which claims it can work with current P2P services to eliminate illicit files. This raises the issue of whether these decentralized file-sharing networks can actually control their end users, something they have insisted all along they have been unable to do.

An Australian court in Sydney is now holding hearings on KaZAa, where experts have testified the site can indeed access those using the file-sharing network.

NEAR TRUTHS:
THE CAKE AND
THE CANDLES
Marketshare machers. (10/27a)
KENDRICK INKS WITH UMPG
Lamar enters the House of Jody. (10/27a)
YTD MARKETSHARE: AND THE WINNER IS...
It's a lock. (10/27a)
MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, PT. 8,761: SURGERY IN THE TIME OF COVID
Planning for an Election Day hopped up on painkillers. (10/28a)
ONCE IN A LIFETIME
Vote. Do it now. (10/28a)
RAINMAKERS 2020
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMY OUTLIERS
Mulling possible surprises.
HALLOWEEN IN QUARANTINE
Why not wear a mask indoors?
ELECTION 2020
What drugs will help us get there?
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)