Washington, D.C. (January 31, 2005)–In a brief filed with the Supreme Court, the country’s leading entertainment companies have joined together to urge the Court to stop the growing threat of theft of movies and music over the Internet. In the filing, the nation’s major motion picture studios and recording companies emphasized that they do not seek to overturn the Sony-Betamax decision, but rather ask the Court to reaffirm the fundamental principles of the protection of private property, including intellectual property, central to the country’s laws since the days of the framing of the Constitution.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) member company studios and Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) recording companies urge the Court to overturn the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that held that certain internet file sharing services, including Grokster and Morpheus, are not liable for the massive, rampant copyright infringements occurring over their networks.
The motion picture studios, record companies and music publishers argue that these services are liable for those copyright infringements based on their history of encouraging and assisting the massive illegal downloading and uploading by the users of their services of copyrighted motion pictures, television programs and music; and, as the services are used overwhelmingly for infringement, they cannot escape liability for those infringements.
“A broad consensus has emerged around the conclusion that the Sony-Betamax decision was never meant to provide cover for Grokster-style theft,” said Mitch Bainwol, chairman and CEO, RIAA. “We’ve seen legal briefs echoing this perspective filed by a remarkable set of voices – creators, technologists, state attorneys general, the Solicitor General on behalf of the federal government, Members of Congress, property rights organizations and many others.”
Recording Industry Association of America
Motion Picture Association of America, Inc.