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Movie and music industries appeal file-share ruling

America’s largest film and music companies have asked a Federal Appeals Court to overturn a decision that cleared peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing sites such as Grokster and StreamCast of copyright infringement.

The appeal seeks to overturn a ruling last April by U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson that found P2P file-sharing network operators are not liable for illegal trading of copyrighted content done by users.

The entertainment companies, including AOL Time Warner and Sony, plus some smaller independent labels, filed the appeal last week with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, Calif.

“Grokster and StreamCast are not significantly different from companies that sell home video recorders or copy machines, both of which can be, and are, used to infringe copyrights,” the judge said.

Wayne Rosso, president of Grokster, described the appeal as an “exercise in futility” by the media companies. “This is just another act of desperation. They don’t have the law on their side and they are offering the same arguments verbatim. We will prevail,” he predicted.

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