Grokster File-Sharing Case Hits The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday from representatives of major film studios and the recording industry who are seeking to shut down peer-to-peer services they say are costing them billions of dollars. One of the questions the court kept coming back to was this: What's more important — preventing potential copyright violations or allowing the market to come up with innovative new products?

The case began when MGM and several record labels filed suit against StreamCast Networks and file-sharing network Grokster, arguing that they were intentionally created to allow people to illegally trade copyrighted material. That case was thrown out by a circuit court in August, paving the way for it to be argued in front of the Supreme Court. "The scale of the whole thing is mind-boggling," argued recording industry lawyer Donald Verrilli. "They intentionally built a network of infringing users."

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