Press release from the Three:
- Three leading organizations representing the music publishers, and record and motion picture companies, today filed a motion in a Los Angeles federal court asking for an expedited ruling in their ongoing copyright infringement case against the online file sharing services
KaZaA Grokster and MusicCity.
After having gathered evidence for the last several months, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), moved for summary judgment in United States District Court for the Central District of California. The three organizations charge that the massive “vicarious and contributory copyright infringement” facilitated by the KaZaA Grokster and MusicCity services is abundantly clear and an accelerated ruling on the merits of the case is warranted. The initial lawsuit was filed last October.
In deference to the confidential evidence designated by defendants, the plaintiffs’ summary judgment brief has been filed confidentially, under seal. The three organizations will seek to work out an appropriate process to unseal the briefs.
In short, the motion claims that KaZaA Grokster and MusicCity:
· built their networks to emulate Napster in almost every respect. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Having begun with Napster technology and a Napster business model, they have marketed their service to Napster users and argued the same legal defenses as Napster;
· have built their networks into candy stores of infringement that allow a user to find the most popular music and movies of our time without paying any of the rights holders;
· are earning millions of dollars from the service;
· are acutely aware that the services are being used to facilitate copyright infringement on a massive scale for movies and music;
· built and controlled the networks in a way that they could easily prevent the copyright infringements from occurring. The defendants’ principal defense that they have no ability to control the network is belied by a myriad of facts, including the fact that Kazaa demonstrated its ability to turn off the Morpheus system at whim;
· have been engaged in much more activity than merely distributing software as they claim. Rather, they were the genesis of and continue to be the sustainer of their networks.
Said Mark Litvack, MPAA Vice President and Director of Legal Affairs: “This is Cybernetic shoplifting. The Defendants have used the Internet to enrich themselves and deprive creators and copyright holders of their right to be compensated for their works, thereby perpetuating the false mentality that stealing is an acceptable form of behavior.”
“The Defendants’ business model is premised on legal theories that have been soundly rejected by both the Napster and Aimster courts.” said Matt Oppenheim, Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs. “This is a case about choice — creators should not be forced to give away the results of their effort for free. They should have the choice of whether to give it away or sell it.”
“These services were designed with one overriding purpose — to exploit the value in copyrighted music for their own profit without compensating the creators,” said Edward P. Murphy, President & CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Association. “That is the reality — the defenses thrown up to disguise it cannot survive the cold light of day. We are confident that the court will protect the rights of the creators against such brazen predatory conduct.”
Also included in the filing is the testimony of several expert witnesses, including Leonard Kleinrock, widely regarded as one of the original founders of the Internet. Kleinrock describes how the defendant’s file sharing system works and how they could easily control and prevent the massive copyright infringement from occurring.
The other side here.