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  Boston College Intellectual Property and Technology Forum
  2005, March
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  • P2P File-Sharing: What the Supreme Court Has an Opportunity to Consider
        Margo E. K. Reder
                                                                                               +cite        
        2005 B.C. Intell. Prop. & Tech. F. 032901 (March 29, 2005) When the United States Supreme Court hears Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. (04-480) on March 29th, it has an opportunity to consider for the first time, the rights, responsibilities and liabilities of p2p network creators and their users, the content industry, and ISPs. Over 25 of the world's largest entertainment conglomerates joined together in petitioning the Supreme Court for a grant of certiorari. Petitioners characterize this case as "one of the most important copyright cases ever to reach this Court. Resolution of the question presented here will largely determine the value, indeed the very significance, of copyright in the digital era." Respondents agree that the stakes are considerable, observing that this "case raises a question of critical importance at the border between copyright and innovation: when should distributors of p2p software -- a multi-purpose tool -- be held liable for infringements that may be committed by end-users of the tool?"