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CONTACT: Patrick Ross
November 19, 2004
(202) 289-8928
Copyright and the Courts - December 10
Grokster Appeal to Supreme Court Topic of Panel on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON D.C. - Calls for U.S. Supreme Court action in a controversial copyright case will be the topic of a Progress & Freedom Foundation Congressional Seminar on Capitol Hill. The luncheon panel will feature parties both in favor of and opposed to the High Court considering an appeal of the MGM Studios v. Grokster decision, including Center for the Study of Digital Property Director James DeLong, PFF Senior Adjunct Fellow Solveig Singleton, and RIAA Senior VP of Government Relations Mitch Glazier. The Congressional Seminar "Grokster and the Supreme Court: The Case For and Against Consideration" takes place on December 10 from 12:00 - 2 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room B369.

"The dispute in this case involves a collision between two imperatives: Protection of technological innovation and protection of creative product," DeLong said. "While both values are crucial, they can indeed conflict in places, and working out the right rules for resolving the conflicts is a complicated, and crucial, task for Congress and the courts." The Progress & Freedom Foundation was one of many parties to file an amicus brief with the High Court urging it to hear the appeal of the Ninth Circuit Court's ruling in Grokster.

At the heart of the debate is the extent to which peer-to-peer software providers should be liable for the copyright infringement occurring on networks they facilitate. That issue also was the center of a heated battle this summer and fall over proposed legislation in the Senate Judiciary Committee known as the Induce Act.

The Ninth Circuit absolved peer-to-peer providers of liability, citing the 1984 Sony fair-use decision. However, that interpretation of Sony varied greatly from a Seventh Circuit decision in the Aimster case. If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the appeal and resolve this split, it will be the first High Court review of Sony since its issuance more than 20 years ago.

Those interested in attending the PFF Congressional Seminar "Grokster and the Supreme Court: The Case For and Against Consideration" should register online. Lunch will be served. Media questions should be directed to Patrick Ross at 202-289-8928 or Other questions should be directed to Andrea Knutsen at 202-289-8928 or This event is distinct from another Congressional Seminar being held by The Progress & Freedom Foundation on December 3, which is related to universal service.

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation