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(US) Judges rule file sharing software is legal

 
 
steve
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-19-2004
Looks like the US courts are following / agreeing with the recent Canadian
court decision that file trading is legal....and what users do with the
software is a separate issue.

************************************************** *******************

http://news.com.com/Judges+rule+file-sharing+softwar
+legal/2100-1032-5316570.html?part=dtx&tag=ntop

or http://tinyurl.com/6ywls

Extract (partial):

Judges rule file-sharing software legal

Published: August 19, 2004, 1:27 PM PDT

update A federal appeals court has upheld a controversial court decision
that said file-sharing software programs such as Grokster or Morpheus are
legal.

Following the lead of a lower-court decision last year, the Ninth Circuit
Court of Appeals in Los Angeles said on Thursday that peer-to-peer software
developers were not liable for any copyright infringement committed by
people using their products, as long as they had no direct ability to stop
the acts. (Download the decision.)

The ruling means that companies that write and distribute peer-to-peer
software can't be shut down because of the actions of their customers. It
did not say file-trading itself is legal, and lower courts in the United
States have said individual computer users are breaking the law when they
trade copyrighted files without permission. But the ruling does lift the
cloud of potential liability from defendants Grokster and StreamCast
Networks, as well as from many of their rivals.

.....the rest is on the web site.....


 
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theseus
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      08-19-2004
steve wrote:
> Looks like the US courts are following / agreeing with the recent
> Canadian court decision that file trading is legal....and what users
> do with the software is a separate issue.
>
> ************************************************** *******************
>
> http://news.com.com/Judges+rule+file-sharing+softwar
> +legal/2100-1032-5316570.html?part=dtx&tag=ntop
>
> or http://tinyurl.com/6ywls
>
> Extract (partial):
>
> Judges rule file-sharing software legal
>
> Published: August 19, 2004, 1:27 PM PDT
>
> update A federal appeals court has upheld a controversial court
> decision that said file-sharing software programs such as Grokster or
> Morpheus are legal.
>
> Following the lead of a lower-court decision last year, the Ninth
> Circuit Court of Appeals in Los Angeles said on Thursday that
> peer-to-peer software developers were not liable for any copyright
> infringement committed by people using their products, as long as
> they had no direct ability to stop the acts. (Download the decision.)
>
> The ruling means that companies that write and distribute peer-to-peer
> software can't be shut down because of the actions of their
> customers. It did not say file-trading itself is legal, and lower
> courts in the United States have said individual computer users are
> breaking the law when they trade copyrighted files without
> permission. But the ruling does lift the cloud of potential liability
> from defendants Grokster and StreamCast Networks, as well as from
> many of their rivals.
>
> ....the rest is on the web site.....


So does that reverse the basis of the RIAA injunction which was used to shut
down Napster's servers in 2001 ?


 
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steve
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-19-2004
theseus wrote:

> steve wrote:
>> Looks like the US courts are following / agreeing with the recent
>> Canadian court decision that file trading is legal....and what users
>> do with the software is a separate issue.
>>
>> ************************************************** *******************
>>
>> http://news.com.com/Judges+rule+file-sharing+softwar
>> +legal/2100-1032-5316570.html?part=dtx&tag=ntop
>>
>> or http://tinyurl.com/6ywls
>>
>> Extract (partial):
>>
>> Judges rule file-sharing software legal
>>
>> Published: August 19, 2004, 1:27 PM PDT
>>
>> update A federal appeals court has upheld a controversial court
>> decision that said file-sharing software programs such as Grokster or
>> Morpheus are legal.
>>
>> Following the lead of a lower-court decision last year, the Ninth
>> Circuit Court of Appeals in Los Angeles said on Thursday that
>> peer-to-peer software developers were not liable for any copyright
>> infringement committed by people using their products, as long as
>> they had no direct ability to stop the acts. (Download the decision.)
>>
>> The ruling means that companies that write and distribute peer-to-peer
>> software can't be shut down because of the actions of their
>> customers. It did not say file-trading itself is legal, and lower
>> courts in the United States have said individual computer users are
>> breaking the law when they trade copyrighted files without
>> permission. But the ruling does lift the cloud of potential liability
>> from defendants Grokster and StreamCast Networks, as well as from
>> many of their rivals.
>>
>> ....the rest is on the web site.....

>
> So does that reverse the basis of the RIAA injunction which was used to
> shut down Napster's servers in 2001 ?


You would think it might.

Though napster was a bit different in that they provided the index /
directory through which others found content. No central servers.....no
file exchange.

Napster wasn't pure peer to peer in that sense. If it was, they could not
have been shut down even if you took all their servers and crushed them to
silicon compost.



 
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Matthew Poole
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-20-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, steve <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>Looks like the US courts are following / agreeing with the recent Canadian
>court decision that file trading is legal....and what users do with the
>software is a separate issue.
>

*SNIP*
>update A federal appeals court has upheld a controversial court decision
>that said file-sharing software programs such as Grokster or Morpheus are
>legal.
>
>Following the lead of a lower-court decision last year, the Ninth Circuit
>Court of Appeals in Los Angeles said on Thursday that peer-to-peer software
>developers were not liable for any copyright infringement committed by
>people using their products, as long as they had no direct ability to stop
>the acts. (Download the decision.)
>

*SNIP*

The courts really have no choice in the matter.
The principle of "significant non-infringing use" goes back to Sony vs
Universal in 1984. A lower court finding the software manufacturers
liable would be contrary to a principle decided at the Supreme Court.

Napster is a different story, because they maintained a centralised list
of available files. Grokster et al are distributed, truly peer-to-peer,
so there's no way the software writers can prevent illegal trade without
impacting on legitimate trade.

RIAA will, of course, appeal this to the Supreme Court.
A canny defence lawyer will then bring out Jack Valenti's (sp?) infamous
"Boston Strangler" comment from the Betamax case, and observe that MPAA
members now generally make more money from video than they do from big
screen.

--
Matthew Poole Auckland, New Zealand
"Veni, vidi, velcro...
I came, I saw, I stuck around"

My real e-mail is mattATp00leDOTnet
 
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thing
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-20-2004
steve wrote:
> theseus wrote:
>
>
>>steve wrote:
>>
>>>Looks like the US courts are following / agreeing with the recent
>>>Canadian court decision that file trading is legal....and what users
>>>do with the software is a separate issue.
>>>
>>>*********************************************** **********************
>>>
>>>http://news.com.com/Judges+rule+file-sharing+softwar
>>>+legal/2100-1032-5316570.html?part=dtx&tag=ntop
>>>
>>>or http://tinyurl.com/6ywls
>>>
>>>Extract (partial):
>>>
>>>Judges rule file-sharing software legal
>>>
>>>Published: August 19, 2004, 1:27 PM PDT
>>>
>>>update A federal appeals court has upheld a controversial court
>>>decision that said file-sharing software programs such as Grokster or
>>>Morpheus are legal.
>>>
>>>Following the lead of a lower-court decision last year, the Ninth
>>>Circuit Court of Appeals in Los Angeles said on Thursday that
>>>peer-to-peer software developers were not liable for any copyright
>>>infringement committed by people using their products, as long as
>>>they had no direct ability to stop the acts. (Download the decision.)
>>>
>>>The ruling means that companies that write and distribute peer-to-peer
>>>software can't be shut down because of the actions of their
>>>customers. It did not say file-trading itself is legal, and lower
>>>courts in the United States have said individual computer users are
>>>breaking the law when they trade copyrighted files without
>>>permission. But the ruling does lift the cloud of potential liability
>>>from defendants Grokster and StreamCast Networks, as well as from
>>>many of their rivals.
>>>
>>>....the rest is on the web site.....

>>
>>So does that reverse the basis of the RIAA injunction which was used to
>>shut down Napster's servers in 2001 ?

>
>
> You would think it might.
>
> Though napster was a bit different in that they provided the index /
> directory through which others found content. No central servers.....no
> file exchange.
>
> Napster wasn't pure peer to peer in that sense. If it was, they could not
> have been shut down even if you took all their servers and crushed them to
> silicon compost.
>
>
>


The guts of the reply seemed to be that the supplier(s) was not
responsible for what consumers did...napster held info so is/was in some
way/degree culpable....

regards

Thing





 
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thing
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-20-2004
Matthew Poole wrote:
> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, steve <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>>Looks like the US courts are following / agreeing with the recent Canadian
>>court decision that file trading is legal....and what users do with the
>>software is a separate issue.
>>

>
> *SNIP*
>
>>update A federal appeals court has upheld a controversial court decision
>>that said file-sharing software programs such as Grokster or Morpheus are
>>legal.
>>
>>Following the lead of a lower-court decision last year, the Ninth Circuit
>>Court of Appeals in Los Angeles said on Thursday that peer-to-peer software
>>developers were not liable for any copyright infringement committed by
>>people using their products, as long as they had no direct ability to stop
>>the acts. (Download the decision.)
>>

>
> *SNIP*
>
> The courts really have no choice in the matter.
> The principle of "significant non-infringing use" goes back to Sony vs
> Universal in 1984. A lower court finding the software manufacturers
> liable would be contrary to a principle decided at the Supreme Court.
>
> Napster is a different story, because they maintained a centralised list
> of available files. Grokster et al are distributed, truly peer-to-peer,
> so there's no way the software writers can prevent illegal trade without
> impacting on legitimate trade.
>
> RIAA will, of course, appeal this to the Supreme Court.
> A canny defence lawyer will then bring out Jack Valenti's (sp?) infamous
> "Boston Strangler" comment from the Betamax case, and observe that MPAA
> members now generally make more money from video than they do from big
> screen.
>


The decision seems so firm that I cannot see the Supreme court changing
the outcome....still fat lawyers...get fatter....

regards

Thing

 
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Evil Bastard
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-20-2004
steve wrote:
> Looks like the US courts are following / agreeing with the recent Canadian
> court decision that file trading is legal....and what users do with the
> software is a separate issue.


A rare bit of good news, which should help to stave off the onset of the
new Digital Dark Age for at least a few weeks.

Don't forget though that the landmark Sony Betamax precedent can easily
be extinguished with legislation - for example, the INDUCE Act,
presently in the House, which if passed would see software developers
and marketers being held liable for any lawbreaking which is perpetrated
with software they write or distribute - the digital equivalent of Mitre
10 or a tool manufacturer being charged as accessories to murder because
someone commits murder with a hammer.

With the MPAA, RIAA, BSA etc in the pockets of both major parties, and
the average Congressperson's abysmally poor access to objective accurate
technical advice, it'll be an ongoing fight to stem the tide of
commercial interests trying to compromise the freedom of the individual.

I guess all we can do is stay tuned, watch out for any looming
legislative stupidities rearing their heads in NZ, and promptly lobby
politicians should such emerge.

--
Cheers
EB

--

One who is not a conservative by age 20 has no brain.
One who is not a liberal by age 40 has no heart.
 
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Mutley
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-20-2004
thing <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:


>> RIAA will, of course, appeal this to the Supreme Court.
>> A canny defence lawyer will then bring out Jack Valenti's (sp?) infamous
>> "Boston Strangler" comment from the Betamax case, and observe that MPAA
>> members now generally make more money from video than they do from big
>> screen.
>>

>
>The decision seems so firm that I cannot see the Supreme court changing
>the outcome....still fat lawyers...get fatter....
>
>regards
>
>Thing


And politicians get campaign contributions to change things..
 
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~misfit~
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-20-2004
Evil Bastard wrote:
> steve wrote:
>> Looks like the US courts are following / agreeing with the recent
>> Canadian court decision that file trading is legal....and what users
>> do with the software is a separate issue.

>
> A rare bit of good news, which should help to stave off the onset of
> the new Digital Dark Age for at least a few weeks.
>
> Don't forget though that the landmark Sony Betamax precedent can
> easily be extinguished with legislation - for example, the INDUCE Act,
> presently in the House, which if passed would see software developers
> and marketers being held liable for any lawbreaking which is
> perpetrated with software they write or distribute - the digital
> equivalent of Mitre 10 or a tool manufacturer being charged as
> accessories to murder because someone commits murder with a hammer.


</sarcasm>

It sounds like a fair and logical extension (in the USA anyway) of the Len
Bias law that allows anyone who supplies drugs to a person who dies from
their use to be prosectuted for murder. I know someone who is currently
being prosecuted under this law because her husband came home drunk one
Saturday night and swallowed a bunch of her pain killers and
muscle-relaxants (without her knowledge) and went to bed. (She was already
asleep). They acted to relax his chest muscles so much he stopped breathing,
then died as a result of the combination of the pills and the alcohol. She's
facing 15-25 years. <shakes head in amazement>

They sure are a legislation-crazy bunch of people those Americans. This poor
woman (a fellow chronic-pain patient) is terrified. She has two young
children who's father just died a couple of months ago, who could now lose
their mother as well.
--
~misfit~


 
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Matthew Poole
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-22-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, "AD." <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>On Fri, 20 Aug 2004 20:13:23 +1200, thing wrote:
>
>> The decision seems so firm that I cannot see the Supreme court changing
>> the outcome....still fat lawyers...get fatter....

>
>They'll just get the law changed instead. That proposed new INDUCE Act
>looks pretty scary, and if it passes will be Aussie law too
>

And if National get into power, it'll end up on the NZ statute books "by
lunchtime" :/

--
Matthew Poole Auckland, New Zealand
"Veni, vidi, velcro...
I came, I saw, I stuck around"

My real e-mail is mattATp00leDOTnet
 
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