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CEA applauds Morpheus/Grokster

The following statement was issued today by Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President and CEO Gary Shapiro regarding Friday’s District Court ruling that Morpheus and Grokster file-sharingservices are not responsible for copyright infringements by their users:

“Friday’s decision is a landmark day in the ongoing effort to balance the need to protect copyright with manufacturers’ right to innovate in the digital age. This decision reaffirms a fundamental principle as set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Betamax case: a technology is legal if it is capable of substantial non-infringing uses.

“The District Court was correct in ruling that the file-sharing services in question have legitimate uses and that these services, in and of themselves, are not responsible for any possible copyright infringement by their users. The decision is a critical piece of the puzzle in developing a new approach to intellectual property issues in the digital age.

“Our industry depends on strong intellectual property protection, and we do not condone piracy or infringement. However, the Court’s decision correctly focuses not on consumer behavior, but on technology and innovation. Innovation helps the U.S. economy and consumers. Opponents should carry a heavy burden to show that a new technology is illegal. Technology developers should be able to create innovative, exciting new technologies without fear of copyright liability.

“We will continue to work with the Congress and all interested parties to find a balanced approach to protect copyrights and maintain a legal environment that allows for technological innovation.”

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