While the actual Supreme Court decision in the Grokster case was not completely what the entertainment industry wanted, ever since it came out, they've been acting as if the Supreme Court ruled 100% in their favor. What the court actually said was that companies would not be protected if they were shown to have taken affirmative steps to encourage the sharing of unauthorized copyrighted material -- the so-called induce standard. The standard, itself, is still quite fuzzy. Fuzzy enough, in fact, that the RIAA didn't waste much time going around telling people that the court had declared all file sharing programs that didn't have deals in place with the industry as illegal. Basically, they started suggesting that almost anything they could think of was inducing copyright infringement. Of course, that was jumping the gun, because the Supreme Court didn't say whether or not Grokster and the others did, in fact, induce infringement. They sent that question back to the lower court, which has yet to decide. In the meantime, though, it should come as no surprise that the RIAA has now let its own interpretation go to its head and has sent legal nastygrams to other file sharing app companies, including those behind BearShare, LimeWire and WinMX, telling them all (notice the language) that they must "cease and desist from enabling and inducing the infringement." Considering that it's not even clear if the first set of companies they sued infringed, it would appear that the RIAA is jumping the gun a bit. The RIAA needs to realize that they don't get to decide what the definition of induce is. That's for the courts to clear up. But, for right now, it appears the RIAA's definition of "inducement" is any app that lets unauthorized files be shared -- which is a pretty broad definition. Update: Here's another version of the story that won't expire so quickly.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- Feds Insist It Must Be Kept Secret Whether Or Not Plaintiff In No Fly List Trial Is Actually On The No Fly List
- Documents Show LA Sheriff's Department Hired Thieves, Statutory Rapists And Bad Cops
- Unarmed Man Charged With Assault Because NYC Police Shot At Him And Hit Random Pedestrians
- Judge In No Fly Case Explains To DOJ That It Can't Claim Publicly Released Info Is Secret
- German Court Says CEO Of Open Source Company Liable For 'Illegal' Functions Submitted By Community