EFF to argue that Morpheus has legitimate uses

MusicCity Networks Inc., creator of the popular peer-to-peer file sharing software Morpheus, was set to ask a Los Angeles district court Tuesday to prevent a ban on the software, saying that it has legitimate uses beyond its reputation as a nefarious copyright infringement tool.

"Morpheus is a powerful technology that can be used for lots of different things ... and the benefits of that technology cannot be limited," said Fred von Lohmann, counsel for the defendant and senior intellectual property attorney with the civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

MusicCity was sued last Oct. 2 by 28 major entertainment companies who claimed that Morpheus enables users to infringe upon their copyright works.

The defense is arguing, however, that the software can also be used for legitimate peer-to-peer trading of shareware programs as well as music and videos that are authorized to be distributed on the Internet.

Von Lohmann likened the software to a copy machine, saying that although a copy machine can be used to make illegal copies of copyright-protected works, in most cases it is a beneficial technology that's legitimately used.

The defense is basing its motion on a precedent set in the Sony Corp. vs. Universal City Studios case in which the motion picture industry tried to outlaw Sony's Betamax VCRs because they could potentially be used to make illegal copies of movies. In 1984 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, however, that even if some VCR users infringe upon copyrights, that does not justify a ban of the technology.

MusicCity's motion is set to be filed in the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California, Western Division where the case is being heard.

According to Von Lohmann, the defense has requested a Feb. 25 hearing on the motion.

The entertainment industry's case against MusicCity comes as part of a larger crackdown on peer-to-peer sharing sites that have sprung up in the wake of Napster Inc. Although the renegade song-swapper was knocked offline last year amid copyright infringement complaints, and is now gearing for the launch of its new, legal service, there are still a handful of rebel peer-to-peer programs that are seen as a threat to major copyright holders.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Scarlet Pruitt

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?