Intellectual Property

MGM v. Grokster in Ninth Circuit

Type: Brief
Year: 2003

The Clinic filed an amicus brief on behalf of 40 intellectual property and technology law professors in MGM v. Grokster. The brief, which you can find here, addresses three main points. First, that the Supreme Court in Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios (the Betamax case), employed sound law and policy in holding that devices “capable of substantial noninfringing uses” will not subject their developers and distributors to secondary copyright liability, even when used for arguably infringing purposes. Second, the brief explains that the standard for “knowledge” urged by the entertainment industry plaintiffs and their amici is incorrect under the law, and would effectively overrule Sony. Finally, the brief notes that request for a change in the Sony rule to deal with P2P technologies must be directed to Congress, not the 9th Circuit. On August 19, 2004, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the lower court decision.