Jun 28, 2005

Creative Community Praises Supreme Court Decision In Grokster Case

Source: Directors Guild of America (DGA)

The following is a joint statement from the preeminent entertainment unions – American Federation of Musicians, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Directors Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild, and Writers Guild of America, west – on today’s Supreme Court ruling.

These organizations also filed a “friend of the court” brief in January 2005 urging the Court to consider the negative impact of Internet piracy on artists.

“Today a clear and unmistakable message has been sent – that work created by our members deserves the same basic financial protections as every other product in the marketplace. Unauthorized file-swapping of copyrighted material is property theft, plain and simple, and this theft destroys the very protections that allow our members to sustain a career and provide for their families. We applaud the Supreme Court’s decision that advances in technology serve to enhance and promote, rather than undermine, the vibrant and diverse cultural and artistic traditions of this country.

“Today’s decision marks an economic and creative victory for every creator whose livelihood has been threatened by the blatant copyright infringement running rampant on peer-to-peer sites across the Internet. What is most important about it is the determination that just because something can be distributed freely, does not mean that it is free, and that the financial rights of creators and copyright holders can no longer be ignored.”

American Federation of Musicians (AFM)
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)
Directors Guild of America (DGA)
Screen Actors Guild (SAG)
Writers Guild of America, West (WGA)

Tell us what you think, comments are on.

3 Responses to “Creative Community Praises Supreme Court Decision In Grokster Case”

  1. Mark Says:

    Please lets not delude ourselves into believing that this has been done to protect artists. Profit margins are whats led to this pure and simple. What irritates me is the continuing assertion that piracy is drastically hurting music, dvd etc sales. Why then do we see services like Apples iTunes going from strength to strength? Profiting from piracy is wrong of course but I do honestly believe its the only way to move towards a fair pricing structure for these industries.

    But then what the hell do I know?;)

  2. John Rowe Says:

    So, where do we go from here? Will Microsoft have to remove the Save As feature from Internet Explorer? Surely they could have forseen that this would be used to copy copywrited work. Will a kitchen knife manufacturer be closed down due to a fatal stabbing? Surely they could have forseen that. Will a paper manufacturer be closed down due to copywrited work being distributed in print?

    So, where do we go from here?

  3. Landon Says:

    The important thing to remember about this ruling, and one that is often overlooked, is that the supreme court ruled that Grokster was liable because it advertised the service as a way to pirate music. It was Grokster’s INTENT to use the service for that purpose. The music industry has been trying to hold P2P networks liable for the pirating that takes place (and indeed shut all P2P down as a technology) but this ruling does not do that, it holds P2P networks liable if it’s INTENT and advertising is promoting illegal use. At the same time the old Sony Betamax decision was upheld. Remember that the industry wanted to shut down the use of all VCRs as they were ‘stealing’. They said the same thing about radio by the way.

    It is a win for the music and movie industries for sure, but not a death knell (yet) for P2P or fair use. It isn’t a certain win for recording artists who will continue to be be screwed by the record companies and artists as is time honored practice.

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