Feeds

US court demands stronger copyright filters for Morpheus

Grist to the Viacom-YouTube mill?

High performance access to file storage

StreamCast argued that file-sharing has not harmed music sales. Judge Wilson said that was irrelevant. "It would also make no difference if StreamCast's inducement was demonstrated to increase Plaintiffs' sales," he wrote, pointing out that as copyright owners, "Plaintiffs have the exclusive right to decide when and how their material should be reproduced and/or distributed, regardless of whether their decisions make good business sense."

He also noted that "Morpheus users have the continued ability to pillage a tremendous quantity of Plaintiffs' intellectual property, and to spread this capacity elsewhere with additional file sharing."

"The only realistic method for remedying such future harm resulting from StreamCast's inducement is by way of a permanent injunction," he wrote.

However, Judge Wilson said that MGM's proposed injunction went too far, describing its language as "unacceptable." It asked that StreamCast be permanently banned from "directly or indirectly enabling, facilitating, permitting, assisting, soliciting, encouraging, authorizing, inducing or knowingly materially contributing to" another's infringement through Morpheus.

He pointed out that StreamCast had been found liable for "inducing" infringement, not for "contributory infringement" – so the reference to "knowingly materially contributing to" was inappropriate. He also took issue with the words "enabling" and "permitting".

He concluded that "inducement is the only form of liability that is relevant to the permanent injunction."

StreamCast argued that a 1984 Supreme Court ruling on Sony's Betamax video recorder protects it. In that case, Sony was accused of infringing copyrights. But Sony won because the machine had significant non-infringing uses. Judge Wilson said that case "provides no immunity where a staple's distribution is sufficiently connected to the promotion/encouragement of infringement."

"There is a distinction between forbidding distribution of a technology capable of substantial noninfringing uses and simply requiring sufficient efforts to minimize the prospective infringement that would otherwise be induced through the staple's distribution," he wrote. "StreamCast would still be allowed to distribute Morpheus so long as it undertook sufficient measures to mitigate end-user capacity for infringement."

Referring to the Napster litigation, Judge Wilson said, "products capable of substantial noninfringing use can be filtered if the failure to do so would constitute either continued contributory infringement … or vicarious infringement. It would therefore be anomalous if such filtering were always unavailable where a defendant has only been held liable for inducement."

'The bell cannot be unrung'

The court also had concerns about the continuing harm, pointing out that distribution after the encouragement of infringement ends, can by itself constitute inducement. "StreamCast has etched its niche in the market for infringement," he wrote.

He added: "neither the simple passage of time nor the entry of judgment in this case can remedy StreamCast's past promotion as the 'next Napster.' The fact that a permanent injunction is imposed also does not leave Morpheus magically reborn as a product safe for unfiltered distribution under [the Sony case]."

"The bell cannot be unrung," he wrote. "Accordingly, Morpheus's connection to the past promotion of infringement means that StreamCast's continued distribution of Morpheus alone constitutes inducement."

High performance access to file storage

Next page: Comment

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.