Court rules against peer-to-peer developers


— 10:37 AM on June 27, 2005

The US Supreme Court has unanimously ruled against peer-to-peer software developers who push their networks as a means to download copyrighted material.

"We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement," wrote Justice David Souter in the majority opinion.
The ruling shouldn't affect peer-to-peer services that have never promoted themselves as sources for copyrighted material. It does, however, send MGM's case against Grokster back to a lower court that had previously ruled in favor of the file swapping network.
 
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