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Morpheus trial date set for October 1
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net
(more articles from this author)
2002-03-07
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Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: Mi2N - March 5, 2002

Last October, 28 of the world's largest entertainment companies sued Streamcast, the Nashville-based developer of the p2p file-sharing program Morpheus, for the infringing actions of users of its product (MGM et al v. Grokster et al, Case No. 01-CV-8541 SVW). Now, US District Court Judge Stephen Wilson has decided to set an accelerated trial schedule with a jury trial beginning on October 1.

Streamcast had asked the court to decide in favor of the technology on the basis of the 'Betamax defense' - the principle that a technology capable of non-infringing uses can't be banned simply because some people may use it to infringe copyrights. But Judge Wilson decided it was too early to rule on this question.

Streamcast also cited the Napster case, pointing out that the 9th Circuit had warned, "To enjoin simply because a computer network allows for infringing use would, in our opinion, violate Sony and potentially restrict activity unrelated to infringing use."

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), along with the law firm of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, represents Streamcast. "There is an important principle at stake here," said the EFF's Fred von Lohmann. "Morpheus, as a technology that has numerous non-infringing uses, should be legal for the same reasons that VCRs, photocopiers, mp3 players, and CD burners are legal."

Morpheus software users currently access a broad variety of materials, including public domain texts from Project Gutenberg, shareware such as WinZip , films from the Prelinger Archive, music videos from Lil'Romeo and others distributed with permission by J!VE Media Technologies, and live concert recordings authorized by musicians.

Related News from Mi2N:
» Court Sets Jury Trial In Morpheus Peer-to-Peer Software Case


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