Don’t Get Too Excited

by on August 19, 2004

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a decision today in the Grokster case. It’s a significant victory for developers of decentralized peer-to-peer file-sharing systems, whom cannot now be held liable for the copyright infringing activities of users.

The last paragraph of the ruling, however, will undoubtedly prompt today’s losers to direct even more resources toward the INDUCE Act:

Indeed, the Supreme Court has admonished us to leave such matters to Congress. In Sony-Betamax, the Court spoke quite clearly about the role of Congress in applying copyright law to new technologies. As the Supreme Court stated in that case, “The direction of Art. I is that Congress shall have the power to promote the progress of science and the useful arts. When, as here, the Constitution is permissive, the sign of how far Congress has chosen to go can come only from Congress.” 464 U.S. at 456 (quoting Deepsouth Packing Co. v. Laitram Corp., 406 U.S. 518, 530 (1972)).

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