Supreme Court Decides Against Grokster In File Sharing DecisionWritten by Richard A. Chapo
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled peer-to-peer sites such as Grokster, Kazaa and Morpheus can be held responsible for copyright infringement by their users. In a rare 9-0 decision in favor of Plaintiff MGM, Justices held that a business distributing technology with active intent of promoting copyright violations could not escape liability for subsequent copyright infringements. Although unanimous, ruling is a strained effort to isolate file sharing from other industries.
In arguing their position, Grokster had relied on previous rulings regarding VHS technology. In a 1984 case, Supreme Court ruled makers of VHS recorders could not be held liable for copyright piracy by users of machines. The Court specifically ruled that VHS and any other technology with "substantially non-infringing uses" could not be held responsible if individuals illegally taped movies or shows off of television. Indeed, lower courts had ruled in favor of Grokster using VHS ruling as precedent. So, what's difference between two technologies?
In a somewhat tortured reasoning, Justices distinguished two cases by focusing on "intent" of companies. If a company distributes a technology with intent that it be used by third parties for copyright infringement, then it is responsible. "Intent" is shown by a company making a "clear expression" of such intent or taking affirmative steps in said direction.
N.C. Governor Appoints Rosen Divorce Attorney Chair of Domestic Violence CommissionWritten by Alison Kramer
N.C. Governor Appoints Rosen Divorce Attorney Chair of Domestic Violence Commission
Raleigh, NC- Governor Mike Easley recently appointed Lisa Angel, divorce attorney with Rosen Divorce, as chair of North Carolina Domestic Violence Commission. Angel was sworn in last Friday by Judge Robin Hudson of Court of Appeals.
The purpose of commission is to assess statewide needs relating to domestic violence and assure those in need receive necessary services and support. The commission also serves to strengthen already established domestic violence programs statewide.
As chair, Angel will be responsible for leading quarterly meetings and serving as spokeswoman for commission. “I’ve been actively involved in domestic violence issues in North Carolina for over 12 years,” says Angel. “I believe state has taken several progressive measures over years to better protect people from domestic violence, but there’s still a lot of work to do.”