So Grokster loses. Software developers are responsible for the actions of their users. Hollywood’s dying business model lives to hemorrhage money and customers for another few years.
At least the ruling attempts to provide a test that should help lay down a line for evaluating whether peer to peer developers are subject to litigation:
“One who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright … is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties using the device, regardless of the device’s lawful uses,” Justice David Souter wrote in the ruling.
I will be interested to see Lessig’s take on the test. It seems to me that it might be possible to interpret that test pretty broadly.