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segunda-feira, junho 27, 2005

File-sharing suffers major defeat

Vamos ver se a indústria de entretenimento vai aproveitar para tentar deter o progresso e ganhar tempo para acumular mais umas rendas a tentar manter modelos de negócio impossíveis


The unanimous ruling is a victory for recording companies and film studios in what is widely seen as one of the most important copyright cases in years.

The legal case against Streamcast Networks - which makes the software behind Grokster and Morpheus - began in October 2001 when 28 media companies filed their legal complaint.

The complaint alleged that Streamcast was prospering on the back of the unfettered piracy taking place on the file-sharing networks.

However, the attempts to win damages suffered a series of defeats as successive courts sided with the file-sharing networks. The judges in those lower courts cited a ruling made in 1984 over Sony's Betamax video recorder.

In that case, the Supreme Court said that the majority of people using a video recorder for legal uses outweighed any illegal use of the technology.

But in this latest ruling the judges sets aside this precedent and the lower court decisions and means the makers of a technology have to answer for what people do with it if they use it to break the law.

In the ruling Justice David Souter wrote: "The question is under what circumstances the distributor of a product capable of both lawful and unlawful use is liable for acts of copyright infringement by third parties using the product."

He added: "We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright ... is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties."
Michael McGuire, from analyst firm GartnerG2, said: "It's something of a surprise. It will be interesting to see how record labels respond. It could be argued that these peer-to-peer services were the most efficient way to deliver rich media."

The decision could also have an impact on any technology firm developing gadgets or devices that let people enjoy media on the move.

If strictly interpreted the ruling means that these hi-tech firms will have to try to predict the ways people can use these devices to pirate copyrighted media and install controls to stop this infringement.

The ruling could also prompt a re-drafting of copyright laws by the US Congress.

BBC NEWS | Technology | File-sharing suffers major defeat


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