Thursday, September 28, 2006

Summary judgement v Streamcast in Grokster

The US District Court for the Central District of California has just issued a summary judgement holding Streamcast liable for inducement of copyright infringement in the Grokster case. On page 30 of the judgement:

"Plaintiffs need not prove that Streamcast undertook specific actions, beyond product distribution, that caused specific acts of infringement. Instead Plaintiffs need only prove that Streamcast distributed the product with intent to encourage infringement."

Which is pretty much what the Supreme Court said in Grokster. The District Court go on to say Streamcast technology was "used overwhelmingly for infringement" and their
  • targetting of Napster users
  • technical assistance to users with copyright infringing content (like Seinfeld and the Matrix)
  • active steps in developing the technology to enable infringing use (e.g. in beta testing the software they identified insignificant availabilty of infringing content as a problem)
  • their business model relied on income from infringing use
  • lack of effort to prevent infringing use
constituted clear evidence of intent to encourage infringement.

Game set and match to the entertainment industry, which following the Supreme Court's ruling in Grokster last year was pretty much inevitable.

Thanks to Mark Lemley on the Cyberprofs listserv for the copy of the judgement. It will no doubt be widely available on the Net soon, if it is not already there.

Update: The EFF have a link to the judgement

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