StreamCast (Morpheus) and Grokster Briefs Filed in U.S. Supreme Court Peer-to-Peer Case
WASHINGTON, D.C.March 1, 2005 StreamCast Networks, Inc.™, makers of the popular Morpheus™ peer-to-peer search and sharing software, and Grokster, Inc.™, makers of the Grokster advanced file-sharing software, have filed briefs in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case which could shape the future of technological innovation for years to come.
"We are thrilled by the support expressed in the many amici briefs that were filed today," said StreamCast Networks’ VP/General Counsel Matthew Neco. "And the many 'neutral' briefs filed last month show consensus that the solution is to allow market forces and cross-industry self-regulation to emerge, perhaps with action from Congress, but not the Supreme Court. Useful technological innovation should not be cut-off at the knees by the Supreme Court before it has a chance to walk, let alone run. We are in times of change, but the change that will come from P2P is good, because in this case the advancement of arts and sciences for the benefit of the citizens of this great Country is then best served. And that is, after all, the reason copyright exists at all."
"There is simply no need for the Supreme Court to overturn, or even modify, its holding in the Sony case. It is good law and has allowed the development and eventual commercialization of many so-called ‘disruptive’ technologies, such as the VCR, the CD player, Apple's iPod and even the computer, all of which arguably allow the user to make multiple copies," said Co-Counsel Charles Baker of Porter & Hedges. "There is no doubt that this explosive growth in technology came as a direct result of the Sony opinion, and any change in the boundaries set forth in Sony could spell disaster for our economy as a whole. In those limited instances when the copyright holders have true, legitimate concerns about ‘disruptive’ technologies, they have turned to Congress to level the playing field. Congress is much better suited than the courts of our nation to consider the impact of new technologies and to listen to all stakeholders who otherwise would not have a voice in any litigation. I believe that the Supreme Court should affirm the Ninth Circuit's and District Court’s opinions, and I look forward to litigating the remainder of the case before Judge Wilson."
"For the past century, Copyright litigation in this country has been an endlessly repeating cycle. Time and again, the corporations that control both artistic content and the current method of distributing that content ask the courts to protect them against new and better technologies, by banning those technologies," Michael Page, of Keker & Van Nest, counsel for Grokster, Inc. stated. "Time and again, the courts have refused to extend the copyright monopoly, and have allowed new technologies to develop and mature, to the benefit of artists, the public and the very corporations that sought to ban them. That basic principle--that copyrights, no matter how numerous, do not give the holders a veto over technological progressis at the heart of the Supreme Court's 1984 Sony opinion. The Grokster/StreamCast case is just the latest assault on this principle, and we are asking that the Court reject that assault and reaffirm Sony."
About Grokster Ltd.
Grokster is an advanced peer-to-peer file-sharing program that enables users to share any digital file including images, audio, video, reports, documents, etc. Content developers and owners may now easily broadcast their files to a global audience through the Grokster Software. It is easy to publish your work: your family photos, home videos, academic reports, travel journal, diary, recipes, or music from your own band. Grokster accesses millions of online users through the FastTrack P2P Stack. Grokster, Ltd. is an international software company engaged in the business of providing cutting edge person-to-person software. Grokster is privately held and headquartered in Nevis, West Indies. For more information, visit www.grokster.com
About StreamCast Networks, Inc.
StreamCast Networks, Inc., creator of the Morpheus software, is a leading global communications technology company that is revolutionizing Internet-based digital media and information distribution via new general purpose technologies that enable users to communicate with one another on an unprecedented scale. Users have downloaded over 130 million copies of the Morpheus application software, according to CNET's download.com. For more information on StreamCast Networks visit www.morpheus.com or www.streamcastnetworks.com
In April 2003, The United States District Court for the Central District of California ruled that the current version of StreamCast Networks' Morpheus software was legal and that StreamCast was not a contributory or vicariously liable copyright infringer. The recording industry and motion picture industry plaintiffs, who lost that ruling, filed an appeal, requesting that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals consider the case. After losing the Appellate court ruling, the entertainment industry plaintiffs filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court, which was accepted in December 2004. The matter is set for oral argument before the High Court on March 29, 2005.