Looks like the courts are finally realizing that copyright owners shouldn’t have control over everything. They cornerstone of today’s decision is that P2P netoworks, like VCRs, have substantial noninfringing uses.
A federal court denied a request to shut down Internet song-swapping services Grokster and Morpheus on Friday, handing a stunning setback to the record labels and movie studios that have sought to curb unauthorized downloading of their works. U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson said the two services should not be shut down because they cannot control what is traded over their systems. Like a videocassette recorder, the software in question could be used for legitimate purposes as well as illicit ones, he said. “It is undisputed that there are substantial noninfringing uses for (the) Defendants’ software,” wrote Wilson, who serves in Los Angeles. [Yahoo! News: Court Rejects Suit Against Web Song-Swappers]
Take that, RIAA! Next, we’ll repeal the DMCA!