Court Rejects RIAA/MPAA Lawsuit Against Morpheus, Grokster

from the amazing dept

Well, here’s a surprise. Not much in the way of details yet, but it appears that a federal court in Los Angeles has thrown out the entertainment industry’s lawsuit against file sharing services Morpheus and Grokster. Will post more details as they become available, but this is good news. I imagine there will be a flurry of appeals, so this is unlikely to be over any time soon. Update: According to this report, the judge appears to have really understood the issues at stake, and claims that the two networks are not liable for the exchanges on their network. The decision also pulls from the 1984 Sony Betamax case, suggesting that if there are substantial “non-infringing” uses, the system is legal. More good news… Update again: Some more details. The judge seems to be saying all the right things: “Defendants distribute and support software, the users of which can and do choose to employ it for both lawful and unlawful ends. Grokster and Streamcast are not significantly different from companies that sell home video recorders or copy machines, both of which can be and are used to infringe copyrights.” Update, yet again: This article suggests that this could actually be bad news for file traders, since the record labels (instead of realizing it’s time to embrace technology) may start going directly after file traders with more force. Of course, this would be a disaster for the industry – putting their customers in jail – but they don’t realize that.

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