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Canadian copyright activists debate meaning of U.S. Grokster decision

News | 07/08/2005 4:00 am EDT

Both sides in the Canadian file-sharing debate say the recent MGM v. Grokster decision in the U.S. bodes well for them, despite its lack of immediate applicability to the legal landscape here. The Supreme Court of the United States released on June 21 its decision against the file-sharing service Grokster Ltd., accepting arguments by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. that the landmark Sony case had been misapplied by a lower court. The Supreme Court ruled that under some circumstances, third parties can be found to be contributing to copyright infringement even if their service or product has non-infringing uses. The decision for MGM has been widely seen as a victory for copyright holders struggling to mitigate the effects of file sharing on sales, though some public interest advocates say the ruling isn’t nearly as ground moving as it appears.

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