The music publishers represented by the National Music Publishers' Assn. plan to continue their fight against P2P distributors Grokster and StreamCast by seeking review from the U.S. Supreme Court.
NEW YORK -- The music publishers represented by the National Music Publishers' Assn. plan to continue their fight against P2P distributors Grokster and StreamCast by seeking review from the U.S. Supreme Court.
On Aug. 19, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco held that the P2P distributors were not contributorily liable for copyright infringement by their users. In the suit brought by music publishers, record labels and motion picture studios, the court held that the decentralized nature of the P2P technology led to a finding of no contributory or vicarious liability.
The entertainment-industry parties could either request the same three-judge panel to reconsider its decision; request a rehearing by all active judges in the Ninth Circuit, which covers nine states including California, Washington and Arizona; seek review by the U.S. Supreme Court; or accept the decision.
NMPA attorney Carey Ramos with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York has acknowledged that it is extremely difficult to convince the High Court to grant review of any case. (ELW Aug. 31, The Fine Print: Will The Supreme Court Hear A Grokster Appeal?) Still, this opinion seems to be making the parties lean toward filing a petition with the Supreme Court.
On Sept. 23, Ramos informed Billboard of the publishers' decision. "We plan to go directly to the Supreme Court. We believe that this is a case of national importance, that severe harm is being done to the songwriting and other entertainment industries and that there is a conflict between the Circuits that only the Supreme Court should address," he said.
Ramos believes the petition will be filed in October.