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June 27, 2005
Notes on Pro-Grokster Press Conference
The pro-Grokster side held a press conference on the decision. Here are my notes. These aren't direct quotations, but my quick notes on what people were saying.
The audio is now avaible as an MP3: Pro-Grokster Press Conference [MP3] or Pro-Grokster Press Conference [MP3]. Watch for this to quickly jump on the filesharing nets.
- Richard Taranto, Farr and Taranto, argued the case before the Supreme Court
A few words, two different aspects to think about this case. What this means for the future of this litigation and how Grokster and Streamcast will fair under the remand directive. The decision is multi-faceted and the evidence burden is unclear so that it We think we will have the evidence to dispell the inference that the entertainment companies have the right to prove that there is sufficient evidence for liability. We were not in the Supreme Court of the unavailability of a theory of inducement for copyright liability.
The second and much more important aspect of what the courts did today was to write a set of standards, the most notable feature of which is the lack of clarity. Promoting infringement and knowledge of how technology will be used. The Court has provided a very difficult roadmap to follow. We have a multi-factored standard that you can't be sure how will be applied to you. The immediate impact for technology industry will be a ... one?
- Fred von Lohmann, Senior Staff Attorney for EFF, with Cindy Cohn
Will unleash an era of legal uncertainty for America's innovators. When we see the evidence in District Court, Streamcast will not be held liable. There is a new theory of copyright liability. Didn't clarify Betamax, didn't clarify vicarious liability. It will take courts some time to clarify this. By focusing on intent, the Supreme Court has opened the door to see the notes of engineering meetings, marketing plans, emails of executives. This is a high burden for technology companies.
- CEO of Streamcast
Another hurdle for this company. We are confident that Streamcast did not go beyond the letter of the law. We look forward to our day in court. We're staying in this fight.
- Gigi Sohn, President and Co-Founder of Public Knowledge
I see positive things for technology companies and consumers. The court reaffirmed the basis for the Betamax case. P2p as a technology can be The court focused on affirmative acts. We will see if there is enough evidence to prove viability. Sony has been preserved. There has been a lot of debate as to whether Congress will have to act to protect Hollywood's rights. It is clear that there is no need for Congress. There is nothing that Hollywood should want or need for Congress. Technology and consumers can be somewhat optimistic about this decision.
- VP of Technology Policy, of the Consumer Electronics Association
Still digesting decision. Quite concerned about a new theory of liability will be harmful. Quite conscious about a very competitive world, such as companies in China and India that do no The legal clarity has decreased. The risk of litigation has increased. From a competitive point this is not a good thing. With the INDUCE Act litigation introduced in last Congress, this makes the legal landscape less clear. We seek a pro-technology, pro-innovation landscape.
- Michael Page of Keker & Van Nest, attorney for Grokster
Good things and bad things. Court decision to uphold Sony is a good thing. I'm disappointed that the Court didn't address vicarious liability at all. Active inducement is part of contributory infringement, but the discussion of what it means to induce leaves a number of conflicting standards. If you replace a prior p2p software that was inducing with another, you can be held liable. Conflicting signals looks to litigation. The vagueness of the court's discussion of inducement will cause problems down the road.
- Edward Black, President and CEO of the Computer and Communications Industry Association
We agree more time to read it all over. This is a very dangerous decision for technology and innovation. It is big victory for lawyers. Sony upheld. But if you consider Sony an umbrella and shield, it is now full of holes. Hollywood to a large extent, has achieved what it wanted.Time for them to change to new business models. We have seen a greater trend to regulatory encroachment, this is an unhealthy trend for everyone who cares about the internet. This decision does uphold the fundamental decision in Betamax.
- Charles Baker of Porter & Hedges, representing StreamCast
I've been representing StreamCast for sometime. We will be back before the district court, we look forward to litigate this issue. We believe very strongly that under this new standard StreamCast will not be held liable. This is a confusing new standard. This can lead to expensive litigation, a very fact intensive standard. If you think about inducing, you could be liable. This will not slow down, but only intensify litigation. It will hamper technology innnovation.
- GC for StreamCast
Decision seems Orwellian. Hollywood become thought police. People in their garages will have to be concerned about everything they think, everything they say to others.. have to be very Full lawyer employment outcome. Lawyers will be pulled into every aspect of business. Innovation and American public will suffer.
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