Feeds

Supreme Court to probe P2P in March

Date set for oral arguments

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

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

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.