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Virtual roundtable on 'Grokster' decision

Robert Ambrogi points to this virtual roundtable discussion of the Grokster decision from a special issue of the newsletter Internet Law & Strategy. It is between members of  the magazine's board of editors and other Internet law experts, including Ambrogi, who wrote:

For companies involved in developing technology-based products and services, the immediate lesson of this case is to watch what you say. Focus on the product's legitimate commercial applications. A more troubling issue arises from between the lines of the Grokster decision -- that of whether a company is obliged to act when it suspects its product is being used for unlawful purposes. Here, the Court finds evidence of the companies' unlawful objectives in their failure to develop filtering tools or other mechanisms to reduce copyright infringement. This failure to act underscores the companies' intent, the Court said. However, the Court quickly adds, in a footnote, that a company's mere failure to act to prevent infringement, absent other evidence of intent, is not grounds for liability.

(Also check for his comments on comparisons to Sony.) Like most cases that create or alter standards, we really will not understand the full impact of Grokster until the first judge applies it. But it is interesting to see what this diverse group of experts has to say, particularly, how they are advising clients in light of the decision.

Posted by LaurenGelman on August 30, 2005 at 01:58 PM | Permalink | TrackBack (0)


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