Judge backs P2P file traders
Date 30-Apr-2003 0:35:03
|A Los Angeles judge dealt the major music labels and movie studios a stunning blow on Friday, throwing out their case against the Grokster and StreamCast file-trading services on grounds that neither service can be held accountable for illegal file swapping done by users. |
U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson said that Grokster and StreamCast provide technology used for both legal and illegal means much like a VCR or copy machine, and they cannot control what the end user does with the technology. In addition, neither Grokster or StreamCast have immediate knowledge of when a user is trading a copyrighted file or a centralized means to stop these actions.
"It is undisputed that there are substantial noninfringing uses for defendants' software," wrote Judge Wilson [PDF, 1.4 MB] . "For instance, StreamCast has adduced evidence that the Morpheus program is regularly used to facilitate and search for public domain materials, government documents, media content for which distribution is authorized, media content as to which the rights owners do not object to distribution, and computer software for which distribution is permitted."
Those words surely made the music label-backed Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) weep.
The full article can be read here