At a Glance: MGM v. Grokster

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Legal

So far, lower courts have ruled that the defendants in the case -- Grokster and StreamCast Networks -- can't be held responsible for what users do with their software, even if that includes illegally downloading copyrighted songs, films and software products.

If the Supreme Court upholds the previous rulings, it would take an act of Congress to outlaw the current generation of file-swapping technologies. On the other hand, members of the broader technology industry are worried that a decision that goes against Grokster will undermine a previous Supreme Court decision they say created a legal climate in which technology innovation has been able to thrive for two decades.

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