According to the court records, "Sony's advertising was silent on the subject of possible copyright infringement".
I don't necessarily agree with the Supreme Court's finding of contributory infringement, but their ruling hinged on the conclusion that Grokster actively promoted itself as being a means for its users to engage in copyright infringement.
This distinction between the two cases was directly addressed in the Supreme Court's ruling.
A new standard was created under Napster and Grokster which explicitly denies the "substantial non-infringing uses" standard to BUSINESSES.
That's not what those rulings found.
When ruling on Napster, the Ninth Court of Appeals explicitly confirmed the original "Betamax" standard (i.e., that Napster was "capable of commercially significant noninfringing uses."). Napster lost because they had direct, explicit knowledge that infringement was taking place. They were asked to remove specific titles by Metallica, Dr Dre, and various other label-represented artists and they refused to take down the links.
Similarly, in MGM vs Grokster the Supreme Court re-affirmed the validity of the Betamax finding, but ruled against Grokster because Grokster actually promoted infringing uses of their software.
Not just the spirit, but the letter of the Constitution is violated. The Constitution explicitly guarantees the States a republican form of government. Secret courts and secret laws do not a republic make.
There's another metric I would use; let's call it the "peace of mind metric".
I agree with this 100% -- however I'd find much greater peace of mind if an agency of my government wasn't wasting billions of dollars subverting the efficacy of the greatest development of humankind ever and threatening the status of over 4 trillion dollars in annual global commerce (not to mention petty little things such as representative government and rights to privacy, free speech, and due process).
"According to the RIAJ, since the introduction of the new legislation rentals have increased by 50%." -- Rentals are a legal method. (RIAJ make not care for that, but it is legal.)
Yet in the U.S. such rental of music is illegal. Are these Japanese "renters" merely grifters stealing from musicians? Or is U.S. copyright law in need of reform so that renting music should be "a legal method"?
Is one approach more moral than the other? Or are the copyright laws of these two countries enforcing arbitrary decisions as to who is deemed a criminal and who is an upstanding, law-abiding contributor to society?
For me the lie in this statistic is that not all visits to "sites with infringing content" are for the purpose of accessing that content. By the MPAA's own numbers, 30% of The Pirate Bay's torrents point to non-infringing works; and TPB is the self-proclaimed poster child of online piracy. Visitors might also be interested in a particular movie's popularity (even Netflix does this), or in reading reviews, or engaging in academic research on internet usage.