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June 27, 2005

IPI's press release on the Grokster decision

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IPI welcomes this morning's unanimous decision by the Supreme Court in MGM  vs. Grokster, holding that companies can be held liable for the distribution of products or services clearly intended to encourage infringement.

As IPI president Tom Giovanetti wrote previously on the Grokster case, "Grokster was clearly designed for the large-scale exchange of music files, and advertised that it can be used to “search, download, and share all you want – for free.” At best, Grokster is willfully blind to how its software is being used. Certainly, they are inducing users to break the law. More likely, they are actively complicit in illegal activity."

In another article Giovanetti wrote: "But Grokster  isn't Betamax--not by a long shot. In Grokster, the Supreme Court is not being asked to choose between allowing all file-sharing, or declaring it all illegal. In fact, if that's what the content industry attorneys argue before the Court, I’m afraid they may get the same decision that they got from the Betamax case. No, the Grokster case is different, because in the Betamax case, there was no intermediate business layer between a VCR and the consumer. The Court's stark choice was either VCRs for consumers, or no VCRs for consumers. But in Grokster, the case is much more specific: Here is a particular company that clearly marketed and advertised its product in a way specifically designed to induce people to steal copy written material. It was Grokster that advertised "search, download and share all you want--for free!"

IPI president Tom Giovanetti is available to speak to the media on the Grokster decision. Please contact Sonia Blumstein (202-213-0379) to arrange for an interview.

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