Resources on the US SC Grokster Decision

28 Jun ’05

Yesterday the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled in the Grokster case that file sharing software networks could in certain circumstances be held liable for inducing copyright infringement. The case is now remanded back to trial for reconsideration. Already, the decision is being cast by some in extreme terms – it will kill P2P, it will kill innovation, it will have no effect at all – but the general sense from the more measured sources is that the decision is a middle-of-the-road response that will take some time to filter down through the trial courts that will now have to implement it. And while the decision was unanimous, there were concurring opinions that have differences that will take the tea leaf readers some time to figure out. Bottom line: the inducement line is a fine line to walk, but an effort to draw it must be made, and the Court’s decision seems to be a game attempt that leaves room for trial courts to work out practical applications of the tests.

Much will be written over the next few days about what Grokster means for file sharing in the US; as expected, some blawgs are already ahead of the game with extensive resources and commentary. A superb starting point is Ernest Miller’s “The Importance of …”. Another useful resource is the blog of Susan Crawford, an assistant Professor of Law at Cardozo Law School.

If you weren’t tuned in as the decision was released, you can visit the Wall Street Journal’s Grokster Roundtable page to see how a panel of experts reacted as the decision was released. I’ll be looking forward to the Michael Geist blog’s elaboration of the many interesting points he made yesterday on the panel.

Finally, the definitive quick guide to the early reactions seems to be Eric Goldman’s post pulling everything together.

Previous post:

Next post: