Feeds

Supreme Court to probe P2P in March

Date set for oral arguments

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

The US Supreme Court will begin hearing spoken testimonies from the movie industry and the world of peer-to-peer networking on 29 March in order to help it decide whether P2P software providers are responsible for the actions of their users.

The hearings will mark the latest step in the music and movie industries' attempts to have P2P software nobbled in order to prevent massive-scale copyright infringement, and to have P2P companies make good the revenue the business claims to have lost to that infringement.

But action brought against P2P software companies Grokster and Streamcast failed to deliver that result at either the District Court or the appeal court level.

In each instance, the judgement in favour of P2P were made on the basis of the precedent set by the 1984 Sony Betamax case. Then, Sony was sued for offering a domestic video cassette recorder that allowed users to copy content without permission. The case went Sony's way when the electronics giant was able to demonstrate that its machines also had entirely legal uses.

Ditto P2P software. Now, however, the likes of the Motion Picture Ass. of America (MPAA) claim that the Sony case is not a suitable precedent for the current action. Back in 1984, Sony could do nothing to prevent the illegal uses its kit might be put to without hindering the legal uses, the MPAA and others argue. P2P software developers, on the other hand, can code their apps to block illegal file-sharing, they say.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the case by July.

Meanwhile, the Australian federal court is expected shortly to decide whether Kazaa owner Sharman Networks is guilty of contributory copyright infringement as the local music industry alleges. ®

Related stories

Canadian 'iPod tax' illegal, judge rules
RIAA sues 754 more P2Pers
MPAA to serve lawsuits on BitTorrent servers
The Supremes prep for P2P battle royal
Shawn Fanning's Snocap touts vision of P2P heaven
First deadline passes for Supreme Court Grokster case
P2Pers ask Supreme Court to reject RIAA ban request
MPAA asks Supreme Court to crush P2Pers
Court tells RIAA and Congress to let P2P software thrive
Grokster, Morpheus face MPAA in appeals court
Judge backs P2P file traders

2004 in review: downloading digital music

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.