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Published: 2005/06/27

Supreme Court Rules Grokster, Morpheus Can Be Sued for Copyright Infringement

Today the United States Supreme Court closed out its annual session with a final batch of rulings. One of those which will certainly have implications for our readers relates to the legal liability of those who create and support peer to peer file-sharing software. The Court held that both Grokster and StreamCast Networks (Morpheus) can be sued by record labels, movie studios and any other copyright holders for the copyright infringements of those who use their platforms. The Supreme Courts decision (in MGM v. Grokster) overturned that of a lower court which had ruled in favor of Grokster and Morpehus based on a 1984 Supreme Court case which stated that Sony was not liable for copyright violations that arose from use of its Betamax VCR (although in Sony Corp v. Universal City Studios the Court had emphasized that VCR had significant uses other than copyright infringement which it did not find in this instance).

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