Supreme court rules against Grokster and Streamcast

Siting
the rampant misuse of filesharing apps, coupled with the absence of filtering
tools to stop illegal sharing of copyrighted works, the Supreme Court today sided with the copyright holders. It appears that the software companies are now liable for the actions of the end users of their products.

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled today that Internet file-sharing services such as Grokster can be held liable if it touts its service as a way for users to illegally download music or movies.

The court sided 9-0 with Hollywood over Silicon Valley in the major technology ruling, stating that Grokster and StreamCast Networks “are aware that users employ their software primarily to download copyrighted files” and marketed themselves as a legal alternative to Napster, the ground-breaking file-sharing service that the courts effective shut down in 2001 for copyright infringement.

“The unlawful objective is unmistakable,” Justice David Souter wrote for the unanimous court. He said that “one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement . . . is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties.”

You can read the entire article at the Mercury News at this link. Please come back and give us your thoughts as to the possible implications for the future of filesharing.

Source: Mercury News