“Here is the crux of the problem. These services have traffic at a rate 40 to 50 times the traffic of legitimate sites. This volume needs to be embraced and managed because it cannot be vanquished.”
——Hilary Rosen


RAC Artists, Captains of Industry, Techies, Former RIAA Head Rosen Sound Off
RAC President/co-founder Don Henley: “By ruling against Grokster, the Supreme Court has vindicated the rights of artists, songwriters, and copyright owners. There is no more important case for the future of our business. These unauthorized P2P systems promote copyright infringement on an unprecedented scale. They make millions of dollars in advertising, but pay the artists nothing.”

Natalie Maines: "We're really glad that the Supreme Court ruled the way they did. Anything that makes it easier for our fans to access legitimate sources of music is a good thing."

Bonnie Raitt: "Artists are not against technology. We fully embrace P2P technology. But artists must have a choice between systems offering music for free and systems that pay us."

Sheryl Crow: "This is a question of balancing the rights of creators with current technology. Unauthorized P2P systems are clearly inducing infringement by the users—those systems need to be held accountable. They can and should incorporate filters to prevent the illegal downloading of copyrighted material and until such time as they do, Grokster and similar, competitive systems should be held liable for the infringement and damage they are doing to the creative community and the public at large."

BMI President/CEO Del Bryant: “The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision today is good news indeed for the creative community whose work has been blatantly infringed by illegal file-sharing networks. BMI, acting on behalf on its more than 300,000 songwriters, composers, and copyright holders, had urged the Court in an amicus brief to find Grokster and StreamCast responsible for the massive infringements made possible by their software.

“The Court has made clear in its decision that services whose clear intent is to foster infringement are liable for the illegal behavior of third parties using their software. As the Court stated, ‘The unlawful objective is unmistakable.’

“BMI has been at the forefront of licensing music for digital transmission, and this ruling today will strengthen the environment for legitimate businesses. So today, the victory is shared by the music community, innovative licensed music businesses, and consumers alike.”

Sony BMG Chairman/CEO Andy Lack (to the BBC): "The court made it very clear that we can go after damages and that we can chase them out. We will do that if necessary, but my hope is that we will find new bridges to legitimise a lot of services that formerly were confused about what was right and wrong, legal and illegal."

UMG President/COO Zach Horowitz (in the L.A. Times): "It now becomes undesirable for people to invest money in these illegitimate services because they're going to be held accountable. Advertising will dry up. They're not going to be able to create a business model where they will be able to secure an acceptable financial return."

WMG Chairman/CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. (in the N.Y. Post): "As a music company, we fully understand that our ultimate success lies not in preventing people from getting what they want but in providing it to them in new and exciting ways. We must strike a balance, one that nurtures technological innovation while at the same time protecting the very content that inspires innovation in the first place."

Hilary Rosen (in the Huffington Post): “I was Chairman and CEO of the RIAA when we developed the case almost five years ago. Suffice to say it was a frustrating time. Napster had been shut down rather than be licensed by the record companies and here were a whole group of new services that specifically avoided the legal frailties that Napster demonstrated in court. I thought that there was a need for a legal ruling at the time, but I also expected so much progress in the marketplace.

“So why won't this case matter now in the marketplace? Because by now SEVERAL HUNDRED MILLION copies of this software that the entertainment industry would like to vanquish have been downloaded to individual computers around the world. They go by names like Grokser, Morpheus, Limewire, eDonkey, BitTorrent, Kazaa, etc.) And each time, there is a successful enforcement or a new way to catch the developers with copyright liability, they reinvent themselves and generate another two- or three-year court proceeding. And now, a majority of them are hosted outside the United States... They grow organically, because they are serving a still unserved desire. Do people like free content, sure, but they also like content. All the stuff—when they want it—to feel like free even if it might not be free...

“So here is the crux of the problem. These services have traffic at a rate 40 to 50 times the traffic of legitimate sites. Yet, the amount of time and money wasted on besting the game by the entertainment and technology industries is huge. This volume needs to be embraced and managed because it cannot be vanquished. And a tone must be set that allows future innovation to stimulate negotiation and not just confrontation..." (To read the entire commentary, click here.)

Ex-Grokster President Wayne Rosso (in the L.A. Times): "This is a huge PR win for the record industry in the fight for hearts and minds. If I'm running the RIAA, I'm filing a huge number of consumer lawsuits this week just to drive that point home."

NARM President Jim Donio: "The Supreme Court's unanimous Grokster decision is unequivocal in holding that businesses cannot knowingly build a foundation for their enterprise based on promoting and encouraging the theft of intellectual property. It is also extremely important to note that by preserving the Sony Betamax decision, the Court is ensuring technological innovations that will lawfully bring more entertainment to more consumers can continue to develop and flourish."

Electronic Frontier Foundation senior attorney Fred von Lohmann (in the Washington Post): "Today the Supreme Court has unleashed a new era of legal uncertainty on America's innovators. The newly announced inducement theory of copyright liability will fuel a new generation of entertainment industry lawsuits against technology companies. Perhaps more important, the threat of legal costs may lead technology companies to modify their products to please Hollywood instead of consumers."

Apple's Steve Jobs (in the Wall Street Journal): "To the extent that illegal downloading gets smaller, we think legal downloading gets bigger. We think [the ruling is] a very good thing for Apple."

RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser (in the Wall Street Journal): "We very much wanted to make sure this was a case where the baby didn't get thrown out with the bath water."