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Supreme Court rules against file-sharing services

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Monday, June 27, 2005
News Categories: iTunes

In a unanimous decision today, the Supreme Court ruled that peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing services could be held responsible if their software was intended primarily to swap music and movies illegally.

“We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement,” Justice David Souter wrote in the majority opinion.

Earlier today, financial research firm Piper Jaffray said that Apple’s iTunes Music Store “would be the primary beneficiary? of a decision against P2P file sharing.

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Comments

1

I’m sure people will keep on downloading…

Posted by ipodman715 on June 27, 2005 at 9:41 AM (PDT)

2

Wrong. Article currently reads: “In a unanimous decision today, the Supreme Court ruled that peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing services could be held responsible if its software or network is used primarily to swap music and movies illegally.”

It should read something similar to this: “In a unanimous decision today, the Supreme Court ruled that peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing services could be held responsible if its promotion primarily highlights illegal uses.”

Read the ruling.

Posted by Jesper on June 27, 2005 at 9:52 AM (PDT)

3

Um, Jesper—I assume you’re referring to the above iPodLounge article.  If you are, it actually does say “...if their software was intended primarily to swap music and movies illegally.”

Posted by PushButtonAction in Atlanta, GA on June 27, 2005 at 10:29 AM (PDT)

4

What a scary decision. 

Let’s not forget that email is a peer-to-peer service.

What copyright holder is going to be the first to sue yahoo, google or m hotmail for its ability to share files?  Sounds ridiculous, but that’s where this is all headed.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on June 27, 2005 at 10:31 AM (PDT)

5

I don’t think it’s as slipperly slope as some people are thinking.  The key to all of this is the intention of the program, was it created for the purpose of an illegal activity?  The SC doesn’t even go this far, all the SC is saying is that it’s ok to file a lawsuit against against these P2P services as a secondary defendent.  The resulting lawsuit still needs to show the P2P service acted irresponsibly. 

It opens a floodgate, but that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone will get swept away.

Posted by Crazy Mike on June 27, 2005 at 11:14 AM (PDT)

6

More money for iTunes and Apple…

Posted by KillerChainsawBunny in Alabama on June 27, 2005 at 11:55 AM (PDT)

7

PushButtonAction: Yes, it does now. They changed it, for which I’m grateful. (Here’s a screenshot the article in my RSS reader which displays changes in the description: http://wootest.net/ipodloungechanged.png )

Posted by Jesper on June 27, 2005 at 1:36 PM (PDT)

8

Here’s the link to the decision on the Supreme Court website…not that anyone here is going to actually read it before commenting…

http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/27jun20051200/www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/04pdf/04-480.pdf

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on June 27, 2005 at 7:45 PM (PDT)

9

Pretty soon the human race will start to look like frumpy Bill Gates with no gender, and the Supreme Court will be a figment of our imagination hardwired with protection keys. (Isn’t that what Bill is starting to look like anyway?)

Posted by FahrenheiPod 451 on June 27, 2005 at 9:53 PM (PDT)

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