Thanks nemo for sending this in.
Lawyers for makers of the file-sharing applications Morpheus and Grokster say that, if their clients can be held responsible for illegal copies of music and motion pictures, then so too should companies such as Microsoft and AOL Time Warner, whose software and Internet connectivity are essential to building networks of file traders.
Monday, in final written arguments in advance of a federal court hearing next month, lawyers marshaled by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) defended their bid to bring a quick end to a pair of lawsuits that pit the motion picture industry, record companies and major music publishers against creators of FastTrack-based peer-to-peer file-sharing software
The EFF agreed in November to defend Nashville, Tenn.-based StreamCast Networks - formerly known as MusicCity and the company behind Morpheus - as well as Grokster, which distributes file- sharing software bearing its name and reports headquarters on the tiny Caribbean island of Nevis.
Also accused in the lawsuits of contributing to copyright infringement on a massive scale is Consumer Empowerment BV of the Netherlands, which originally created the FastTrack P2P technology and the Kazaa media player that uses it.
Unlike users of the former Napster network for exchanging MP3 audio files, users of the Morpheus, Grokster and Kazaa software can exchange any computer file they agree to share. But the EFF lawyers said that the software doesn't work without multimedia-capable computers, without Internet access provided by companies such as AOL Time Warner's America Online, or without software to play the music and video and sometimes copy it to optical disks.