June 27, 2005

U.S. court file-trading networks can be held liable

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruledon Monday that Internet file-trading networks can be heldliable when their users copy music, movies and other protectedworks without permission.

The justices set aside a U.S. appeals court ruling that thepeer-to-peer networks cannot be held liable for copyrightinfringement because they can be used for legitimate purposesas well.

"We hold that one who distributes a device with the objectof promoting its use to infringe copyright ... is liable forthe resulting acts of infringement by third parties," JusticeDavid Souter wrote for the court.