Supreme Court Rules in Grokster

June 27, 2005 | Intellectual Property | By: Mark VandeWettering

Well, I haven’t had a chance to read the ruling yet, but it appears that the SCOTUS has unanimously gutted the Sony decision and made software companies potentially liable for infringing uses of their software, regardless of whatever significant non-infringing uses their might be.

I’ll post again when I have something in the way of analysis.

Addendum: I’m probably overreacting by claiming it gutted the Sony decision. My initial skim of the decision has only served to confuse me on what practical importance (if any) today’s decision had. It definitely seems to make companies which promote copyright infringement to be dangerous to fund, but I’m not sure it goes beyond that, and it is far from clear that even a company like Grokster would qualify.

Addendum2: The best discussion I’ve found so far was here, on the SCOTUSblog.


Comment from Lily
Time 7/4/2005 at 6:30 pm

First effects of Grokster says:

‘Heres the first change that Ive seen due to the Grokster decision. Bonpoo is a service that lets you send large files to other people. It used to be general-purpose; you could send anything to your friends. Now, post-Grokster, they only let you send photos:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: At bonpoo we are constantly testing file transfers services that help people send legal files across the Internet. Given the recent Supreme Court decision we have suspended our free file transfer services except for photos. We apologize for any incovience. Please check out our professional product HeavyMail for an alternative to our prior service.’

By the way, Bonpoo’s website is and HeavyMail’s website is