Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

File-Sharing Services May Be Sued

Filed under
Legal

Internet file-sharing services will be held responsible if they intend for their customers to use software primarily to swap songs and movies illegally, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, rejecting warnings that the lawsuits will stunt growth of cool tech gadgets such as the next iPod.

The unanimous decision sends the case back to lower court, which had ruled in favor of file-sharing services Grokster Ltd. and StreamCast Networks Inc. on the grounds that the companies couldn't be sued. The justices said there was enough evidence of unlawful intent for the case to go to trial.

File-sharing services shouldn't get a free pass on bad behavior, justices said.

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

At issue was whether the file-sharing services should be held liable even if they have no direct control over what millions of online users are doing with the software they provide for free. As much as 90 percent of songs and movies copied on the file-sharing networks are downloaded illegally, according to music industry filings.

The entertainment industry said it needed protection against the billions of dollars in revenue they lose to illegal swapping. Consumer groups worried that expanded liability will stifle the technology revolution of the last two decades that brought video cassette recorders, MP3 players and Apple's iPod.

Companies will have to pay music and movie artists for up to billions in losses if they are found to have promoted illegal downloading.

Two lower courts previously sided with Grokster without holding a trial. They each based their decisions on the 1984 Supreme Court ruling that Sony Corp. could not be sued over consumers who used its VCRs to make illegal copies of movies.

The lower courts reasoned that, like VCRs, the file-sharing software can be used for "substantial" legal purposes, such as giving away free songs, free software or government documents. They also said the file-sharing services were not legally responsible because they don't have central servers pointing users to copyright material.

But in Monday's ruling, Souter said lower courts could find the file-sharing services responsible by examining factors such as how companies marketed the product or whether they took easily available steps to reduce infringing uses.

"There is substantial evidence in MGM's favor on all elements of inducement," Souter wrote.

Associated Press

Guns!

This is what I dont understand. How can filesharing services be responsible for what their users do? It can be for good or bad. Same for guns. Someone can take a gun and perform criminal acts but the person who did the act is responsible not the company that made the gun!

So far this week the Supreme court is batting zero. First they say private companies can take over your property and home for development and now this.

re: Guns!

Yep, this country has gone to hell in a handbasket I tell ya. It's not by the people for the people anymore - it's by big business for big business these days. We are just the consumers - who are actually being consumed. Sucked and bled dry... I hate to think how few rights Americans will still have in 50 years. Thank gawd I'll be dead by then.

----
You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

re: Guns! (more)

There's a very interesting thread going on kuroshin about that property thing you brought up. It kinda solidifies what I was basically trying to say. Very interesting - and scary!

Here it is.

----
You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

BeagleBone Black Wireless SBC taps Octavo SiP, has open design

BeagleBoard.org’s “BeagleBone Black Wireless” SBC uses Octavo’s OSD335x SiP module and replaces the standard BeagleBone Black’s Ethernet with 2.4GHz WiFi and BT 4.1 BLE. BeagleBone Black Wireless is the first SBC to incorporate the Octavo Systems OSD335x SiP (system-in-package) module, “which integrates BeagleBone functionality into one easy-to-use BGA package,” according to BeagleBoard.org. Announced on Sep. 26, the OSD3358 SiP integrates a TI Sitara AM3358 SoC along with a TI TPS65217C PMIC, TI TL5209 LDO (low-drop-out) regulator, up to 1GB of DDR3 RAM, and over 140 passives devices including resistors, capacitors, and inductors, within a single BGA package. The Linux-driven hacker SBC also adds TI WiLink 8 WL1835MOD wireless module with 2.2 MIMO. Read more Also: Epiq Solutions' Sidekiq M.2 NAS-targeted Skylake Mini-ITX loads up on SATA, GbE, PCIe

Android Leftovers

  • 6 open source fitness apps for Android
    A key part of developing a good fitness routine is creating a solid workout plan and tracking your progress. Mobile apps can help by providing readily accessible programs specifically designed to support the user's fitness goals. In a world of fitness wearable devices like FitBit, there are plenty of proprietary apps designed to work with those specific devices. These apps certainly provide a lot of detailed tracking information, but they are not open source, and as such, do not necessarily respect the user's privacy and freedom to use their own data as they wish. The alternative is to use open source fitness apps. Below, I take a look at six open source fitness apps for Android. Most of them do not provide super detailed collection of health data, but they do provide a focused user experience, giving the user the tools to support their workouts or develop a plan and track their progress. All these apps are available from the F-Droid repository and are all licensed under the GPLv3, providing an experience that respects the user's freedom.
  • Roku Express, Roku Premiere, and Roku Ultra announced, starting at $29.99
    Roku Inc, maker of the popular Roku line of home media players, has just refreshed their entire product lineup at once. The existing lineup of flagship Roku boxes (but not the Roku Streaming Stick) has been replaced by three new products (with upgraded models for each); the Roku Express, the Roku Premiere, and the Roku Ultra.
  • This is what the Chromecast Ultra will look like
    Google is ramping up for their major October 4th event. In addition to seeing the Pixel and the Pixel XL formally unveiled, we’re also expecting a new Chromebook and the Chromecast Ultra. Until today, we had no idea what to really expect from the new Chromecast device in terms of design, but now we’re finally getting a sneak peek.
  • Android + Chrome = Andromeda; merged OS reportedly coming to the Pixel 3
    It has been almost a year since The Wall Street Journal dropped a bomb of a scoop on the Android community, saying Chrome OS would be "folded into" Android. The resulting product would reportedly bring Android to laptops and desktops. According to the paper, the internal effort to merge these two OSes had been underway for "roughly two years" (now three years) with a release planned for 2017 and an "early version" to show things off in 2016. It seems like we're still on that schedule, and now Android Police claims to have details on the new operating system—and its first launch device—coming Q3 2017.

Fedora 26 Linux OS to Ship with OpenSSL 1.1.0 by Default for Better Security

Fedora Program Manager Jan Kurik informs the Fedora Linux community about a new system-wide change for the upcoming Fedora 26 operating system, namely the addition of the OpenSSL 1.1.0 libraries by default. It appears that current Fedora Linux releases ship with OpenSSL 1.0.2h, which has been patched with the latest security fixes, but the team decided it was time to upgrade the OpenSSL libraries (libssl and libcrypto) to a newer, more advanced branch. Therefore, Fedora 26 Linux will ship with OpenSSL 1.1.0 by default, which will have a massive impact on the overall stability and security of the OS. "Update the OpenSSL library to the 1.1.0 branch in Fedora to bring multiple big improvements, new cryptographic algorithms, and new API that allows for keeping ABI stability in future upgrades. We will also add compat openssl102 package so the applications and other dependencies which are not ported yet to the new API continue to work," reads the proposal. Read more Also: GLPI version 9.1