The 89th Academy Awards

Top Acts Sign Brief Urging P2P Liability

In a milestone action, 54 prominent recording artists have signed on to the "friend of the court" amicus brief presented to the Supreme Court on Jan. 24 by the National Academy of Recording Arts &

In a milestone action, 54 prominent recording artists have signed on to the "friend of the court" amicus brief presented to the Supreme Court on Jan. 24 by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the Recording Artists' Coalition (RAC) and other music groups.

The brief urges the High Court to overturn an opinion by the ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that Grokster, Kazaa, Morpheus, and other unauthorized P2P systems are not liable for contributory copyright infringement.

Among the recording artists who signed on to the brief are the Eagles, Jimmy Buffett, Gavin Rossdale, Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt, the Dixie Chicks, Stevie Nicks, Reba McEntire, Avril Lavigne, Dido, Tom Jones, Diana Krall, Elvis Costello, Brian Wilson and members of Barenaked Ladies.

The Recording Industry Association of America, the National Music Publishers' Association and the Motion Picture Association of America originally filed the suit against the P2P networks in 2001. Unlike Napster's first incarnation, which had a centralized index of files, Grokster and StreamCast use "decentralized" P2P models.