The following analysis of the Supreme Court's Grokster decision was provided to clients of Dow Lohnes & Albertson PLLC and is posted here with permission. --Dennis
Today [6/27/05 --DH], the United States Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd.("Grokster"). In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Souter, the Court reaffirmed the rule of law it announced in 1984 in Sony v. Universal1 ("Sony-Betamax"), but held that the Sony-Betamax rule does not immunize the distributor of a technology from liability for secondary copyright infringement where the distributor of the technology intentionally induces direct infringement by others. The Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit’s decision and remanded the case to the trial court, finding there was "substantial evidence" from which the trial court could find defendants Grokster and StreamCast, both distributors of peer-to-peer file sharing software, liable for inducing copyright infringement by end-users of their software. ..." For the rest of the analysis, click this link [pdf].