The unofficial source for all your Grok news!
Welcome to No Sharing Allowed, the first weblog dedicated to the MGM v. Grokster decision and its effects both in industry and in court.
For those unacquainted, MGM v. Grokster was a case recently on appeal before the Supreme Court of the United States concerning whether peer-to-peer filesharing software distributors could be held liable for the copyright-infringing actions of their users.
This case immediately calls to mind Sony Corporation of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc. (the "Sony rule"), an important precedent case. This case pitted Sony against Universal for making VCRs which could record copyrighted materials, and those new recordings were being distributed in an infringing manner. In that case, the court ruled that since Universal's products had legitimate, legal purposes for which they were originally intended and advertised, Universal could not be held liable. In Grokster, the Ninth Circuit District Court followed that precedent, and granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant. The Supreme Court overturned the decision of the District Court to grant Summary Judgment in favor of the defendant, and has sent the case back to trial court.
This blog is dedicated to explaining what the case means to the law, what it means to the industry, and how those things continue to change as the case moves forward. For now, though Grokster still has an opportunity to prevail, the court's decision already speaks loudly to the industry; distributors of p2p technology can possibly be held liable for the actions of their end users, in certain situations. Stay tuned for further explanations of the legal ramifications of this decision, as well as what it means for innovators in the IT industry.
For further reading, please explore the links to the right, which contain ample information about the beginnings of this landmark case.