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Overturning the judgments of the lower courts, in a test case the Supreme Court found that Grokster had deliberately planned to infringe the copyright of material owned by MGM for the movie industry.
At issue was whether the landmark case of Sony vs Universal Studios could be extended to companies marketing and facilitating file sharing. In the Sony case, which concerned whether VCRs were tools to infringe copyright, it was held by the Court to have 'other uses' such as recording programmes to view later. Therefore it was decided that while the device could be used to avoid copyright, it has 'other uses' which outweighed the illegal ones.
the media seems to have totally mischaracterized the decision as a loss for us and a win for the entertainment industry.
p2pnet: Just after the decision came down, StreamCast general counsel, Matthew Neco, said, "In every instance where some product might possibly be used for copyright infringement, the copyright holder can now sue and weigh down innovation with expensive, time and resource consuming discovery and trials."
Will the labels now try to simply crush companies such as yours by using their financial and legal weight to overwhelm them with lawsuits?
Weiss: Suing technology companies into submission has been the strategy of the entertainment industry for many, many years now. They thought they'd have an easy win over us, but instead they lost at the US District Federal Court. They then thought they'd have a slam-dunk against us in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. They lost again - unanimously. They hoped the Supreme Court would reverse the decision and shut us down. But that didn't happen either.
p2pnet: Are there other legal recourses open to you?
Weiss: We will have our day in court - actually many days in court - to prove we don't induce copyright infringement from our users. There could be the possibility where this case even ends up back at the Supreme Court one day in the future.