Proskauer Attorneys Prepare Amicus Briefs In Grokster Case

Sunday, May 1, 2005 - 00:00

Two teams of Proskauer Rose LLP lawyers recently prepared and submitted two separate amicus briefs on behalf of numerous entities, trade associations and individuals that own copyrights or related rights, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Ninth Circuit's opinion in the Grokstercase, which held that unauthorized "P2P" services that foster illegal downloading of music, motion pictures and television shows are not liable for contributory copyright infringement.

Charles B. Ortner (who also serves as national legal counsel for the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc.) and Jon A. Baumgarten, William M. Hart, Frank P. Scibilla and Isaac Nesser prepared an amicus brief on behalf of the 18,000-member Recording Academy, which presents the GRAMMY Awards television show, the Recording Artists' Coalition, a number of other recording artist and songwriter associations and 54 high-profile recording artists.

The brief discussed the harmthat the Ninth Circuit opinion would cause to the creators of music, and others who work in the music industry, who rely on protection of copyrightsfor their livelihoods, and the harm which would be suffered by the public and the nation's musical heritage inthe absence of effective remedies against those, such as Grokster, who facilitate or otherwise contribute to the infringement of copyrights over the Internet.

Hank L. Goldsmith and Christopher Wolf prepared an amicus brief on behalf of eight global rights associations, including the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, the International Confederation of Music Publishers, and the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers. The brief highlighted the risk that an affirmation of the Ninth Circuit decision could cause the United States to falter in its compliance with several international agreements.