At the end of March 2005, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in MGM v. Grokster, reviewing a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and reconsidering the continued viability of the landmark Sony-Betamax case in the new millennium. Since Sony-Betamax, it has been well-settled that manufacturers and distributors are not vicariously liable for
On June 27, 2005 on a copyright ruling, nine justices of the Supreme Court agreed, in MGM v. Grokster, that the distributors of devices capable of both lawful and unlawful uses are liable for the infringing acts of third parties, where, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps, the distributors promote the infringement. Distinguishing Sony,
In June this year, the Supreme Court held that section 43(a) of the Lanham Act does not bar the uncredited copying of a work whose copyright has expired. The producer of “copies” is considered the “origin” of those “goods” within the meaning of the statute, and the producer of those goods neither falsely designates its
At the beginning of this year, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (the “CTEA” or “Act”), which extends the existing term of copyright protection for an additional 20-year period. The district court had earlier held that the 20-year extension, though longer than the term in the