(US) Judges rule file sharing software is legal

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by steve, Aug 19, 2004.

  1. steve

    steve Guest

    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.....
    steve, Aug 19, 2004
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. steve

    theseus Guest

    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 ?
    theseus, Aug 19, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. steve

    steve Guest

    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.
    steve, Aug 19, 2004
    #3
  4. In article <>, 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.
    >

    *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
    Matthew Poole, Aug 20, 2004
    #4
  5. steve

    thing Guest

    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
    thing, Aug 20, 2004
    #5
  6. steve

    thing Guest

    Matthew Poole wrote:
    > In article <>, 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.
    >>

    >
    > *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
    thing, Aug 20, 2004
    #6
  7. steve

    Evil Bastard Guest

    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.
    Evil Bastard, Aug 20, 2004
    #7
  8. steve

    Mutley Guest

    thing <> 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..
    Mutley, Aug 20, 2004
    #8
  9. steve

    ~misfit~ Guest

    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~
    ~misfit~, Aug 21, 2004
    #9
  10. In article <>, "AD." <> 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
    Matthew Poole, Aug 22, 2004
    #10
  11. steve

    AD. Guest

    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 :)

    Cheers
    Anton
    AD., Aug 22, 2004
    #11
  12. In article <>,
    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.
    >


    The full decision is 26 pages 132k .pdf at:

    http://www.eff.org/IP/P2P/MGM_v_Grokster/20040819_mgm_v_grokster_decision
    ..pdf

    The key to this was the decentralised, p2p nature of the operation.
    However there is a sting in the tail, the courts will administer
    the law as it stands, if Big Business wants to change the law,
    go buy yourself a congressman or 2...

    quote from decision:
    --------------------
    The introduction of new technology
    is always disruptive to old markets, and particularly to those
    copyright owners whose works are sold through well established
    distribution mechanisms. Yet, history has shown
    that time and market forces often provide equilibrium in balancing
    interests, whether the new technology be a player
    piano, a copier, a tape recorder, a video recorder, a personal
    computer, a karaoke machine, or an MP3 player. Thus, it is
    prudent for courts to exercise caution before restructuring lia-
    bility theories for the purpose of addressing specific market
    abuses, despite their apparent present magnitude.

    Indeed, the Supreme Court has admonished us to leave
    such matters to Congress. In Sony-Betamax, the Court spoke
    quite clearly about the role of Congress in applying copyright
    law to new technologies. As the Supreme Court stated in that
    case, "The direction of Art. I is that Congress shall have the
    power to promote the progress of science and the useful arts.
    When, as here, the Constitution is permissive, the sign of how
    far Congress has chosen to go can come only from Congress."
    464 U.S. at 456 (quoting Deepsouth Packing Co. v. Laitram
    Corp., 406 U.S. 518, 530 (1972)).

    In this case, the district court correctly applied applicable
    law and properly declined the invitation to alter it. We affirm
    the district court, and remand for resolution of the remaining
    issues.
    ----------------------------
    end quote
    J.Random Luser, Aug 22, 2004
    #12
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. T-Bone
    Replies:
    30
    Views:
    1,416
  2. Canobull Righteous

    ! It's Time To STOP Feeding USA Judges & Lawyers

    Canobull Righteous, Mar 23, 2005, in forum: Computer Support
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    584
    Jerry Attic
    Apr 16, 2005
  3. Rhonda Lea Kirk

    Re: A Call for MIS Judges

    Rhonda Lea Kirk, Oct 15, 2006, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    383
    Demon Lord of Confusion
    Oct 24, 2006
  4. Rocky
    Replies:
    10
    Views:
    581
    Rocky
    Apr 25, 2010
  5. mmyvusenet

    The Judges House Photo

    mmyvusenet, Jun 4, 2010, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    12
    Views:
    506
    mmyvusenet
    Jun 6, 2010
Loading...

Share This Page