Jenner & Block

Supreme Court Issues Landmark Decision in Grokster Internet File-Sharing Case

The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that file-sharing services such as Grokster and StreamCast, which have built their business on distributing illegal copies of copyrighted songs and movies, can be held liable for copyright infringement.

“Today’s victory for record companies and motion picture studios means that they will have the opportunity to prove their case in court and demonstrate that companies that facilitate massive copyright infringement on the Internet can be held to account," said Thomas J. Perrelli.  Mr. Perrelli is Co-Chair of Jenner & Block’s Entertainment and New Media Practice Group.  

Among other things, Jenner & Block Partner Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. had emphasized during oral argument before the Justices earlier this year that Grokster-like software is used to illegally distribute billions of copyrighted files every month and that there was no legal basis for giving such infringement a “free pass.” Argued Mr. Verrilli, file-sharing software is a “gigantic infringement machine” that has cost the record industry up to 25% of its revenues in recent years.
In addition to Messrs. Verrilli and Perrelli, the Jenner & Block legal team representing the entertainment companies in the case includes Partners Ian Heath Gershengorn, William M. Hohengarten, Steven B. Fabrizio, Matthew J. Oppenheim and Elaine J. Goldenberg and Associates Kathleen R. Hartnett, Brian Hauck and Matthew Hersh.
The case is Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd., No. 04-480.  To view the court's decision, please click here.