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Grokster = More Fair Use Cases?

One potential consequence of the MGM v. Grokster ruling may be an uptick in courts deciding fair use cases involving personal, noncommercial activities like "time-shifting" and "space-shifting." A variety of new digital technologies are advertised and promoted for uses that the technology vendors believe to be fair uses. For...

Clarifying Inducement: What's the Remedy?

The Court also leaves open precisely what the remedy is if one is found to have actively induced infringement. Here, too, the relationship to patent law may be relevant. In that context, the appropriate remedy has not included forbidding distribution of the defendant's technology. Rather, the remedies have prohibited the...

Clarifying Inducement: How Is Patent Law Relevant?

Justice Stevens' Sony opinion discusses in some detail how patent law's "staple article of commerce" doctrine will be imported into copyright. The Grokster decision purports to import the active inducement standard from patent law, too. But it's unclear whether the Court actually has done so. First, patent law...

Fear Mongering

Today, during an interview on the News Hour with Jim Lehrer , lead counsel for the movie studios and record labels, Don Verrilli, accused me of "fear-mongering." While I suspect his barb may be something out of MPAA/RIAA talking points, others who I respect have suggested that...

Unavoidable Inducement?

In light of the decision, some on the petitioners' side argue (once again) that the standard only targets "bad actors," not harming any legitimate businesses. However, in some ways, the decision may make it difficult for legitimate businesses to avoid inducement. In the respondents' press conference , Grokster counsel...

What is "Inducement"?

At the least, one could hope that the Supreme Court's decision in December to hear the Grokster case was a first step in bringing clarity to secondary copyright infringement doctrines. Instead, the Court introduced a new doctrine, the contours of which are entirely unclear. The ambiguity invites more lawsuits...

Supreme Court Reverses Grokster, Endangers Innovation

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled today that creators of P2P file-sharing software could be held liable for intending to induce infringements, reversing the lower court's ruling. The Court's murky standard puts at risk technology creators of all stripes. "Today the Supreme Court has unleashed a new era of...

WIPO: Talks About Talks

That's what the Pakistani delegation said about the second WIPO meeting on the Development Agenda, and we couldn't agree more. Even as the discussion "officially" moved on to substantive reforms of WIPO, each proposal was met with suggestions to hand the debate over to an aimless, underfunded subcommittee. It's no...

Grokster Reader's Guide

Here's a reader's guide to help you keep your eye on the ball while reading Monday's Supreme Court ruling in MGM v. Grokster . It's not about P2P. The P2P genie is irreversibly out of the bottle, with the software already installed on hundreds of millions of computers...

The Last Lie for TSA?

Wired reporter Ryan Singel has a must-read piece providing an update on the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) outrageous behavior in testing the fundamentally flawed "Secure Flight" passenger-surveillance program: Homeland Security officials who defied Congress and misled the public by creating secret files on American citizens while...

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