StreamCast and Grokster file Supreme Court brief

Peer-to-peer (P2P) software companies StreamCast Networks and Grokster have filed a joint brief in November urging the U.S. Supreme Court to leave the landmark MGM v. Grokster ruling handed down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this year undisturbed.

The case pits music and movie studio companies against StreamCast and Grokster, two small start-up companies responsible for the Morpheus and Grokster P2P file-sharing software products.

The entertainment companies have been seeking to hold StreamCast and Grokster liable for copyright infringements committed by the users of their software. In April 2003, a federal district court in Los Angeles rejected that claim, reasoning that the Morpheus and Grokster software products have many non-infringing uses, much like photocopiers and VCRs. A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling in August 2004. But in October, the entertainment industry asked the Supreme Court to overturn the lower court rulings.

StreamCast and Grokster filed their brief in response, arguing that the Ninth Circuit correctly applied the clear rule set out by the Supreme Court 20 years ago in the Sony v. Universal case (also known as the "Sony Betamax" case) that protects technologies with non-infringing uses.

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