As we mentioned, the major movie studios and record labels went to Federal court yesterday against file-sharing services Morpheus and Grokster over alleged copyright violations. Both sides sought “summary judgment” – neither got it, John Borland writes on CNET.com:
- Wilson showed little inclination to rule immediately on either side’s request, saying that before making an actual ruling, he’d likely release a “speaking order” that outlines his thoughts on the case–a process one attorney likened to completing a “rough draft” of an actual decision.
“That would give me certainty that I hadn’t missed something,” Wilson told the assembled attorneys. “Some of the things said here were provocative. I’ll have to go back and rethink some of my impressions.”
The ultimate outcome of Monday’s hearing carries considerable weight in the file-swapping world. If Wilson decides in favor of the record companies and movie studios, he could order Grokster and StreamCast Networks, the parent company of Morpheus, to stop distributing the file-trading software for those services, or he could order the services to try to block trades of copyrighted material though their file-swapping networks. The same decision could also be applied to the more popular Kazaa service, child of Sharman Networks, although that company was not part of Monday’s hearing.
….The “rough draft” decision–or a final decision, if Wilson changes his mind and decides to make a more definitive ruling–could come at any time, although lawyers said it might take a month or more. Wilson is also deciding whether the record labels and studios can add Sharman Networks, which is incorporated in the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu and headquartered in Australia, to the U.S. federal case.