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Appeals Court ruling says file sharing software is legal

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Appeals Court ruling says file sharing software is legal

Old 08-21-04, 05:29 PM
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Appeals Court ruling says file sharing software is legal

Ruling sets back music industry's piracy battle
By Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY
In a big setback for the music and movie industries, a federal appeals court upheld an earlier decision that said operators of online swap networks aren't liable for their users' actions.
The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco rejected the piracy pleas of the record labels and movie studios. They had argued that unauthorized online trading of movies and music is costing a combined $7.5 billion yearly and that the owners of swap networks Grokster, Morpheus and Kazaa should have to pay.

In essence, the ruling says file-sharing software is legal. That sets the stage for a potential showdown before the U.S. Supreme Court and more lobbying for legislative solutions.

Besides the owners of file-trading networks, the labels have also been pursuing song traders. Since September, about 4,000 copyright-infringement lawsuits have been filed, and many have chosen to settle at fees from $2,000 to $15,000.

Outgoing Motion Picture Association of America President Jack Valenti said, "We are carefully reviewing our next steps." The RIAA says it will continue to pursue legislative and legal actions. It is expected to press to have the case heard before the Supreme Court, which could take at least a year.

Legislation was recently introduced in the Senate in response to the original Grokster defeat. The so-called Induce Act would make operators of media-swap networks such as Grokster liable for users' actions. It also would make it easier for entertainment companies to sue tech firms for copyright infringement. The tech industry has lobbied against it, saying it could affect products as diverse as Apple iPods, search engines and PCs.

The Senate is in recess until after Labor Day. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the bill's author, had no comment on the ruling.

In Thursday's decision, the judges agreed that there are many good uses of the file-sharing technology beyond unauthorized music and movie trading.

The technology "significantly" reduces distribution costs of public domain and "permissively shared" art and speech and reduces centralized control of that distribution, Judge Sidney Thomas wrote.

Fred Von Lohmann, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation advocacy group, calls the win "a huge victory for consumers."

Until the original Grokster decision in February, the RIAA and MPAA had been on a winning streak. They succeeded in getting the courts to knock down the original Napster and a host of other so-called peer-to-peer services.

"Now, the court is saying, 'This is pretty good stuff,' " says Jonathan Band, an intellectual property attorney in Washington, D.C. "That's a much different tone."


http://www.usatoday.com/money/indust...-lawsuit_x.htm
Old 08-21-04, 05:42 PM
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good
the software isn't to blame, it's the people sharing copyrighted files
the software itself can also be used for sharing files who's creators want to have distributed
Old 08-21-04, 06:06 PM
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Seems like the RIAA doesn't get it. The consumer will eventually win in the end, and they can't ban everything that can be used for potential infringements. 4,000 lawsuits are NOTHING compared to the tens of millions (hundreds if millions maybe) who have embraced the digital age.

The RIAA better get their act together, as lawsuits will only make us more determined. Banning a software program and a technology that allows millions of people to communicate, is absurd.

What next. Ban AIM? Ban MSN Messenger? You can share files via these clients, too.

The RIAA is making themselves look like an old senile church lady who will swat at anyone for any reason.

Last edited by DVD Polizei; 08-21-04 at 06:09 PM.
Old 08-21-04, 06:48 PM
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They can start to lower per song like $0.10 to download.
Old 08-21-04, 07:03 PM
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OTTER LAWYERS PLEASE RESPOND.

What is the legal difference between an attempt to ban P2P's and MP3 players on the grounds that they encourage breaking the law, and an attempt to ban guns? Couldnt the above lawsuit (or O. Hatch's proposed law against iPods) be be used on a multitude other products?
Old 08-21-04, 07:05 PM
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Yes, it could. But the RIAA only goes after the WEAK. They won't go after companies like Microsoft, who have a file sharing feature, or AOL, who has the same. They will ONLY go after the small person or company who does not have enough money to fight them.

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