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Archived updates for Thursday, January 27, 2005

CNet News on "The Draw of Massive Copyright Infringement"

"While P2P technology unquestionably can be employed for a variety of legitimate purposes without giving rise to rampant copyright infringement, the record...suggests that (the file-swapping software companies) have built their particular P2P networks around the 'draw' of massive copyright infringement," the solicitor general's brief to the Supreme Court in MGM v. Grokster reportedly said. They "cannot evade liability...merely by pointing to other, legitimate uses of the technology."

"The Sgt. Schultz defense for Grokster doesn't work," added RIAA Chief Executive Mitch Bainwol at a press conference on Tuesday. "'See nothing, hear nothing,' doesn't apply."

The draw of potentially influencing the Supreme Court also reportedly led the Christian Coalition, the Concerned Women for America, Morality in Media and others, to write that the lower-court decision relieving file-swapping companies of legal liability could lead to a "proliferation of anonymous, decentralized, unfiltered and untraceable peer-to-peer networks that facilitate crimes against children and that frustrate law enforcement efforts to detect and investigate these crimes."

Yet another group of Internet companies (including CNET Networks, publisher of News.com where these quotes appeared on January 26, 2005) reportedly wrote that they did not approve of copyright infringement on the file-swapping networks but asked the court to retain the Sony decision because it had led to considerable technological innovation over the years.

The massive MGM v. Grokster briefs themselves are available here, via the IP News Blog.
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