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P2Pers ask Supreme Court to reject RIAA ban request

District Court, appeal court rulings clear enough

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StreamCast has formally asked the US Supreme Court to reject the request made by the Motion Picture Ass. of America (MPAA) and Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA) to revisit lower court decisions that confirm the legality of P2P software.

The MPAA and RIAA petitioned the Supreme Court in October 2004, following the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal's decision, made in August 2004, that a verdict casing in stone the legitimacy of P2P software be allowed to stand. StreamCast offers the Morpheus P2P client.

The appeal was the result of an April 2003 District Court ruling that since P2P networks have legitimate uses, the software's developers can't be held to account if their code is misused.

"It is our belief that there is no need for the Supreme Court to review the matter," said Matthew Neco, StreamCast's general counsel. "The ruling of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the trial court's ruling was based on a perfect understanding of the precedent of the Sony-Betamax case."

That's the action on which the company's defence centred. In 1984, an attempt by the movie industry to sue Sony for offering a machine capable of recording TV broadcasts was rejected by the court since the equipment could equally be put to legitimate uses.

"Morpheus is used for substantial non-infringing purposes, and, therefore, the Betamax standard applies, resulting in StreamCast not being secondarily liable for any direct infringing uses by users of Morpheus," Neco said. ®

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