Supreme Court rules against Grokster

The verdict is in this morning and the Supreme Court has ruled against Grokster in MGM vs. Grokster.

Here’s a couple of key points from the article:

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that companies that sell file-sharing software can be held liable for copyright infringement.

(Emphasis mine) – Companies that market and sell P2P software for the sole purpose of infrigmenent is what the court is saying. Software such as bittorrent – which was developed to transfer large files such as movie trailers and linux distributions – wouldn’t be an issue. That, and bittorrent is free.

“One who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright … is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties using the device, regardless of the device’s lawful uses,” Justice David Souter wrote in the ruling.

The Supreme Court has remanded the case back to the lower court that originally ruled for Grokster.

The good news is that 1984’s Betamax ruling is still law. Devices made, that could infringe, can still be made. What the court has said is don’t create a device and market to the fact that it’s only made to infringe copyright. The bad news is, that burden of proof is now on the manufacturer’s to prove that they didn’t create and/or market to the fact that a device can infringe.

It’s not over yet. I’ll update the post when the EFF gets their opinion up.

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