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June 27, 2005
MGM v. Grokster -- What Happened?
Here's the ruling itself [PDF], finding that "one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by the clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties."
Much to absorb. Back with more soon.
A few key spots for watching the conversation unfold:
The Wall Street Journal Grokster Roundtable, where Ernie Miller argues that despite the "tough" treatment of Grokster and StreamCast, the ruling itself "may turn out to be a significant victory for technology providers in general."
The SCOTUS Blog forum, where C.E. Petit argues that the Court "evaded the biggest question: What is the limit of the Sony doctrine?"
Picker's MobBlog, where Douglas Lichtman opines that the movie studios et al. have a "hollow" victory, "MGM won on paper today, but my first reading of the opinion makes me wonder whether the victory will have any bite outside of this specific litigation. Intent-based standards, after all, are among the easiest to avoid. Just keep your message clear -- tell everyone that your technology is designed to facilitate only authorized exchange -- and you have no risk of accountability. This is not the standard I was hoping for."
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