DeLong, Singleton See Consumer Win in 9-0 Decision
WASHINGTON D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court today in a 9-0 ruling remanded MGM Studios v. Grokster to the 9th Circuit Court in a victory for the plaintiffs. In a decision by Justice David Souter, the Court said there was sufficient evidence of unlawful intent to permit P2P providers Grokster and StreamCast (Morpheus) to stand trial for copyright infringement. Souter also wrote that a court could take into consideration a software maker's business model in determining liability. PFF will be holding a Congressional Seminar on the decision and its aftermath on July 8.
The following quote can be attributed to Progress & Freedom Foundation Senior Fellow Jim DeLong, director of PFF's Center for the Study of Intellectual Property (IPcentral.info):
"This looks like a giant win for everyone. For the tech industry -- the Court made clear that Sony is still good law, and that simply marketing a product with the knowledge that some people will use it to infringe is not a basis for liability. For the content providers -- the Court said that intentional inducement of infringement is illegal, and that in proving the existence of the intent the copyright holders can point to the infringement-dependent business models of Grokster and its kin, and to their failure to take any affirmative steps (such as filtering) to prevent infringement. And for consumers -- the unanimity shows that the Court meant what it said about the crucial importance of intellectual property rights when it decided Eldred two years ago, which is crucial to the cornucopia of creativity that the Internet makes possible."
The following quote can be attributed to Progress & Freedom Foundation Senior Adjunct Fellow Solveig Singleton :
"We will hear a million times that Grokster announces a victory for the content side. But the Court has taken the only route that would balance content and tech. A 'bright line' rule sheltering new technologies from liability would have made a mockery of copyright. The decision in Grokster means that consumers win, too-less free-riding, but more legit options competing fiercely for their dollar. What about innovators of multi-purpose tech? In the absence of actual evidence that they intend to foster infringement, innovators will not be liable. The Court has done its level best to protect innovators, but not every application of every innovation."
DeLong and Singleton are available for further comment and analysis on the decision.
On July 8 PFF will host a Congressional Seminar on the Grokster decision featuring a panel of experts, who will discuss what the remand may bring and what changes could be coming from Congress. Lunch will be served. Those interested in attending may register online. Media questions should be directed to Patrick Ross at 202-289-8928 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Others should contact Andrea Knutsen at 202-289-8928 or email@example.com.
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.