P2P United Statement on Ninth Circuit's "Complete and Utter Rejection" of Entertainment Industries' Claim that Decentralized Peer to Peer Software Developers are Copyright Infringers

Congress Urged to Heed Courts Advice to Let Neutral New Technology and the Market Find its Own "Equilibrium"....

WASHINGTON (AUGUST 19, 2004) --- Adam Eisgrau, Executive Director of P2PUnited - the Washington-based trade association of the peer-to-peer technology industry representing the developers of BearShare, Blubster, Grokster, eDonkey and Morpheus P2P software - released the following statement on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' stunning and complete affirmation today of last Spring's Federal District Court ruling that such developers do not infringe copyright by developing and distributing their popular software programs used by tens of millions of Americans:

"The Ninth Circuit's complete and utter rejection today of the entertainment industries' attempts to warp long-standing, pro-innovation copyright law into a weapon against peer-to-peer technology and its developers is a profound and major victory for the American consumer and our economy. Critically, the court cut through and rejected Hollywood's and 'Big Music's' propaganda about peer-to-peer software and the P2P United member companies sued in this case (Grokster and Streamcast) to find the truth:

"While the court acknowledged that only Congress can make the kind of radical change in copyright law that the copyright cartel wanted in this case, it also clearly indicated that having the power to make change does not mean that change should be made. P2P United respectfully urges every Member of Congress to heed the court's strong advice that such radical change would be 'unwise' and, if they read no other part of the Ninth Circuit's opinion, to take the court's following observations to heart:

'The introduction of new technology is always disruptive to old markets, and particularly to those copyright owners whose works are sold through well established distribution mechanisms. Yet, history has shown that time and market forces often provide equilibrium in balancing interests, whether the new technology be a player piano, a copier, a tape recorder, a video recorder, a personal computer, a karaoke machine, or an MP3 player.'

'The Copyright Owners urge a re-examination of the law in the light of what they believe to be proper public policy, expanding exponentially the reach of the doctrines of contributory and vicarious copyright infringement. Not only would such a renovation conflict with binding precedent, it would be unwise. Doubtless, taking that step would satisfy the Copyright Owners' immediate economic aims. However, it would also alter general copyright law in profound ways with unknown ultimate consequences outside the present context.'

"The court is right and neither pending legislation nor more litigation will make a market for the 21st Century that puts the power of peer-to-peer technology to work for the public and for the artists that multi-national copyright aggregators so cynically claim to speak for."