March 29, 2005

Jenner & Block Partner Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. told the U.S. Supreme Court today that file-sharing services such as Grokster and StreamCast have built their business on distributing illegal copies of copyrighted songs and movies and that the software companies should be held liable for copyright infringement.

Citing studies that such software is used to illegally distribute billions of copyrighted files per month, Mr. Verrilli told the Justices that “their massive actual infringement gets a free pass so long as they can speculate that there are non-infringing uses out there.”

“The outcome of this case is tremendously important to not only the entertainment industry, but all copyright owners.  A favorable decision will help to ensure that authors and copyright owners can protect their creative works in the digital world,” said Thomas J. Perrelli after the argument.  Mr. Perrelli is Co-Chair of Jenner & Block’s Entertainment and New Media Practice Group and one of the authors of the Firm’s legal brief.

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.