[linux-elitists] [wild@eff.org: EFF: Defends MusicCity Peer-to-Peer Technology]

Seth David Schoen schoen@loyalty.org
Tue Nov 6 10:24:10 PST 2001

I still wish this case were captioned "MPAA and RIAA v. Consumer

----- Forwarded message from Will Doherty <wild@eff.org> -----

Date: Mon, 05 Nov 2001 16:14:35 -0800
From: Will Doherty <wild@eff.org>
Subject: EFF: Defends MusicCity Peer-to-Peer Technology

Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

Embargoed For Release: November 6, 2001


Fred von Lohmann, Senior Intellectual Property Attorney,
  EFF, fred@eff.org, +1 415 215-6087 (cell)

Robin Gross, Intellectual Property Attorney, EFF,
  robin@eff.org, +1 415-637-5310 (cell)

Andrew Bridges, Partner, Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich &
  Rosati, abridges@wsgr.com, +1 650 320-4861

Steve Griffin, Chairman & CEO, Music City,
  sgriffin@streamcast.ws, +1 615 261-0235

Cindy Cohn, Legal Director, EFF, cindy@eff.org,
  +1 415 436-9333 x108

EFF Defends MusicCity Peer-to-Peer Technology

Tests Hollywood's Control of Delivery Technology

Washington, DC - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
announced today that it has joined MusicCity's legal
defense team in a crucial case testing the limits of
Hollywood's power to control new technologies.

"This case is about the freedom of technologists to
innovate and the public's right to communicate," said EFF
Senior Intellectual Property Attorney Fred von Lohmann,
slated to announce the EFF's entry into the case at a
12:30 PM Eastern press conference at the O'Reilly
Peer-to-Peer and Web Services Conference, in the Chevy
Chase Room of the Westin Grand Hotel.

29 of the world's largest entertainment companies have
sued MusicCity, the Nashville-based developer of the
leading peer-to-peer file-sharing product Morpheus, in
federal court in Los Angeles. Morpheus is a file-sharing
tool that allows users to connect with each other and share
information of all kinds. The entertainment companies claim
that MusicCity should be held responsible for the alleged
copyright infringements committed by Morpheus users.

"Just as the entertainment industry tried to ban the VCR,
now it aims to outlaw the technology that is the next
killer app of the Internet," said EFF Intellectual Property
Attorney Robin Gross.

In the early 1980s, the motion picture industry tried to
outlaw VCRs by claiming that Sony should be held liable for
the infringing activities of Betamax users. The U.S.
Supreme Court rejected this effort to stifle innovation,
holding that so long as the technology is "capable of
substantial noninfringing uses," vendors can build and sell
it without fear of copyright litigation from entertainment
companies. The lawsuit against MusicCity will likely be
the pivotal test for the Betamax rule in the Internet

"The question is whether Hollywood media powerhouses will
be able to use copyright as a pretext for seizing control
over technology development," said Andrew Bridges, attorney
with the Silicon Valley law firm of Wilson, Sonsini,
Goodrich & Rosati and lead defense counsel for MusicCity.
"The landmark Betamax case taught the world that copyright
ownership does not confer veto power over the development
of technologies with varied uses, so long as those
technologies are capable of substantial non-infringing
uses. In the end, Hollywood learned how to profit from the
new videotape recorder technology."

Peer-to-peer file-sharing technology platforms like
Morpheus are not only capable of noninfringing uses, but
are being used for noninfringing purposes today.

The case, captioned Metro-Goldwyn Mayer v. Grokster,
No. 01-CV-8541 SVW, is before Judge Stephen V. Wilson, U.S.
District Court Judge for the Central District of California
in Los Angeles. Case documents also name as defendants
Consumer Empowerment and Grokster, two companies that
distribute peer-to-peer file-sharing software built on the
same technology as Morpheus. No court dates have been set
in the case.

Documents related to Metro-Goldwyn Mayer v. Grokster:

U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Betamax case,
Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc.:

EFF Campaign for Audiovisual Free Expression:

About EFF:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil
liberties organization working to protect rights in the
digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF actively encourages and
challenges industry and government to support free
expression, privacy, and openness in the information
society. EFF is a member-supported organization and
maintains one of the most linked-to websites in the world:

About MusicCity:

MusicCity.com is the first file searching service to
license the preview edition of Morpheus, a paradigm
changing peer-to-peer enabling application. In development
for over a year, the Morpheus application (client) allows
users to search and find almost any type of digital file
(audio, video, photos, reference data, reports, documents,
etc.) through a secure peer-to-peer network powered by
consumers and creators, not by corporate servers and
corporate interests. MusicCity Networks has offices in
Nashville, Tennessee, USA, and a website at

                      - end -

----- End forwarded message -----

Seth David Schoen <schoen@loyalty.org> | Its really terrible when FBI arrested
Temp.  http://www.loyalty.org/~schoen/ | hacker, who visited USA with peacefull
down:  http://www.loyalty.org/   (CAF) | mission -- to share his knowledge with
     http://www.freesklyarov.org/      | american nation.  (Ilya V. Vasilyev)

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