Jenner & Block

Firm Set to Argue Landmark Supreme Court Copyright Case

Jenner & Block Partner Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. will argue before the U.S. Supreme Court on March 29 in a case The National Law Journal recently described as “the most important copyright challenge in decades.” Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd., No. 04-480.

Representing every major movie studio and record company in the country, Mr. Verrilli will argue, among other things, that the Grokster and StreamCast peer-to-peer file sharing services that allow Internet users to download music and movies at-will knowingly contribute to massive copyright infringement.

“Grokster and StreamCast built and run services that are principally used for infringement, and it is this infringement – not legitimate activity – that makes them money,” the Firm wrote in its  brief filed with the Court in January.  “Established doctrines on contributory infringement and vicarious liability require that Grokster and StreamCast be held responsible for their conduct.”

“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, Co-Chair of Jenner & Block’s Entertainment and New Media Practice Group and one of the authors of the Grokster 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.