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December 10, 2004
Breaking News: Cert Granted in Grokster
See Fred von Lohmann's note @ Deep Links.
As Grokster goes, so goes the Betamax doctrine.
The case is on the March calendar. Opening briefs are due January 24 and opposition due on February 28.
More to come on this; for now, check out Fred's take from a while back on Betamax as it relates to the Grokster case:
Simply stated, [Betamax] establishes that so long as a technology is "merely capable of substantial noninfringing uses," contributory liability for the technology vendor is foreclosed. The doctrine takes its name from the Supreme Court's 1984 ruling in Sony v. Universal City Studios, a copyright challenge to the "Betamax" VCR.
In MGM v. Grokster, no one seriously contested that peer-to-peer technologies were capable of noninfringing uses. The technologies are used today to distribute software, movie trailers, video games and music tracks, all with the authorization of forward-thinking copyright owners. Public domain materials also circulate widely on the networks.
The entertainment industry, however, urged the 9th Circuit to look at the proportion of infringing to noninfringing uses. The 9th Circuit disagreed, emphasizing that it is the capability for noninfringing uses that is critical.
on the news.
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