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Writing opinion, Justice Souter explained:
"There is no evidence that Grokster…made an effort to filter copyrighted material from users' downloads or otherwise impede sharing of copyrighted files,"
He further explained,
"The company showed itself to be aiming to satisfy a known source of demand for copyright infringement, market comprising former Napster users."
No Nail In The Coffin
The entertainment industry is trumpeting end of file sharing. This ruling is no such thing. To understand impact of ruling, a brief discussion of legal procedure is necessary.
The Supreme Court decision does not find Grokster liable for anything. Instead, it simply reverses a lower court ruling that Grokster could not possibly be found liable. As a result, case will return to trial court and eventually go to trial. In trial, Plaintiff will have to prove that Grokster distributed file-sharing software with intent that it be used for copyright infringement. Proving such a case will not be easy since “intent” is a vague concept.
The decision of Supreme Court provides entertainment industry with a basis for pursuing file sharing companies. Is file sharing at an end? Not likely.
Richard Chapo is with SanDiegoBusinessLawFirm.com - providing San Diego businesses with legal services. This article is for general education purposes. Nothing in this article creates an attorney-client relationship.