Post Tagged with: "Grokster"

Modifying Canadian Law

A blog reader has passed along a legal demand letter they recently received from Smart & Biggar, a leading Canadian IP law firm, representing the Entertainment Software Association.  The letter focuses on the sale of modification devices – frequently referred to as "mod chips" that can be used to modify or alter store-bought video games or play infringing copies of those games.  Mod chips have been rendered illegal in the U.S. and U.K., while Australia's High Court upheld their legality in 2005 (the law was changed under pressure from the U.S. last year).

The letter argues that the ESA has both trademark and copyright rights in the video games.  In addition to pointing to Section 27 of the Copyright Act as governing the sale or distribution of unauthorized software, the applicability of criminal offences under Section 42 of the Copyright Act, and the fraud provisions of the Criminal Code, it claims:

"any use, offer for sale or sale of modification devices, or 'mod chips' to permit circumvention of our clients' consoles security systems to play pirated or counterfeit software, is also an offence and constitutes direct or indirect infringement of our clients' intellectual property rights by inducing and procuring infringement by others of our client's aforesaid rights."

Given that the letter makes no reference to patent rights, the intellectual property referred to in this sentence is presumably copyright.  This raises at least two issues. 

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February 23, 2007 16 comments News

6,000 Lawsuits Later and P2P Use Still on the Rise

The San Jose Mercury News carries a report that looks back at the year since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Grokster decision.  The RIAA launched 6,000 new lawsuits against file sharers, yet Big Champagne reports that P2P usage has increased by ten percent over the past twelve months.

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July 3, 2006 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

The Globe on Copyright

The Globe and Mail ran yet another copyright masthead editorial today, A Line on File Sharing (reg. required), which predictably supported the U.S. Supreme Court's Grokster decision.  Given its two other recent copyright editorials which virtually parroted the recording industry's position on copyright, it comes as little surprise to find […]

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July 4, 2005 Comments are Disabled News

Reflecting on Grokster

The Toronto Star features a special edition of my Law Bytes column (HTML backup version, freely available hyperlinked version; Toronto Star reg. version) reflecting on Monday's Grokster decision. I argue that while the highest court in the U.S. unanimously ruled that two file sharing services, Grokster and Streamcast, can be sued for actively encouraging copyright infringement by their users, the decision is not the clear cut win its supporters suggest.

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June 29, 2005 Comments are Disabled Columns

Reflecting on Grokster

The Toronto Star features a special edition of my Law Bytes column (freely available hyperlinked version; Toronto Star reg. version) reflecting on Monday's Grokster decision. I argue that while the highest court in the U.S. unanimously ruled that two file sharing services, Grokster and Streamcast, can be sued for actively encouraging copyright infringement by their users, the decision is not the clear cut win its supporters suggest.

Read more ›

June 29, 2005 Comments are Disabled News