I read the case over lunch and the implications for it potentially go far beyond p2p to affect all copyright owners – including gaming companies obviously.
In one emergency briefing email I got today (of a number) the decision was stated as having:
“profound implications for copyright owners, technology companies and software developers. In what has been billed as ‘the most important case of the internet age’ the Supreme Court found that file sharing services could be found liable for distributing software that permits illegal file sharing. However the Court also held that to be liable the file sharing software distributors would have to be proved to have the intent to encourage illegal file sharing.”
Some of the IT law email lists and discussion lists are very active with academics trying to come to terms with the implications across a range of US precedents. The tests applied seem to me to very difficult to apply in practice to determine what side of the line into which certain activies will fall – fairly subjective tests in my view. Of course that will make it harder for companies operating in the US to apply them.
Sure its keeping us sad IT lawyers entertained of an afternoon anyway ( :wink: :lol: ) – but there will be plenty more about this. The decision is confined to the US of course, but the US’ sphere of influence in such matters extends beyond its borders.