Friday, August 20, 2004

Judges rule file-sharing software legal - News - ZDNet

Judges rule file-sharing software legal - News - ZDNet:
"Like the lower court, the Ninth Circuit implied that any ability to hold software developers liable for copyright infringement might have to come from Congress rather than from the courts. Indeed, the RIAA is already pursuing that goal, with a bill sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, that would put legal responsibility for copyright infringement back on the peer-to-peer developers.

But the Appeals Court closed its decision with words that some technology lawyers are interpreting as a cautionary note to Congress, as it debates that bill.

'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,' the court wrote. '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. Thus, it is prudent for courts to exercise caution before restructuring liability theories for the purpose of addressing specific market abuses, despite their apparent present magnitude.' "
con·cept: Judges rule file-sharing software legal - News - ZDNet