A group of entertainment companies have asked a federal appeals court to overturn a landmark court decision that short-circuited their efforts to sue two computer file-sharing software distributors for the illegal online swapping of songs and movies by their users. \nIn a sealed brief submitted late Monday to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, the companies argued that federal Judge Stephen Wilson departed from well-established copyright law when he ruled in April that Grokster Ltd and StreamCast Networks Inc could not be held liable for their users' copyright violations. \nGrokster distributes file-sharing software by that name, and StreamCast distributes Morpheus. The entertainment companies sued StreamCast and Grokster in October 2001. \n"The District Court decision sharply departed from the law of the 9th Circuit and dramatically redrew the law of secondary infringement to set near impossible standards for liability in an online environment," the companies said in a brief by the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America. \nOn Tuesday, the groups made excerpts of the brief public. \nWhile Wilson did acknowledge Grokster and StreamCast might have intentionally structured their businesses to avoid liability while still profiting from the illicit use of their software, he concluded there was no evidence the companies could supervise and control the use of their services. \n"This case ... is about the conduct of businesses that intentionally misuse commonly available Internet peer-to-peer technology to profit from copyrights they do not own for works they did not create," the brief said. \nThe entertainment companies also argued that Wilson's decision "makes a mockery of copyright law" because it allows someone to form a company that profits off copyright infringement without any consequences. \n"These are businesses that were built for the exclusive reason of illegally exchanging copyrighted works and they make money hand over fist from it," RIAA President Cary Sherman said. "The Court of Appeals should hold them accountable." \nMichael Weiss, CEO of StreamCast Networks, said the main issue is whether file-sharing developers should be held liable for providing a product that has many useful applications simply because some people misuse it. \n"We expect to prevail and if we do not, we will take this to the Supreme Court if we must," Weiss said. \nWayne Rosso, Grokster's president, expressed confidence that Wilson's ruling would be upheld. \n"We clearly have the law on our side, something the plaintiffs obviously have a difficult time accepting," Rosso said. \nThe major recording companies and movie studios say the illegal swapping of their copyright works threatens their industries and hurts their employees. Both have engaged in public education campaigns and copyright lawsuits to stem piracy, particularly over the Internet.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.
Taiwanese-independence advocates yesterday accused former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of breaking national security laws and called on the judiciary to investigate after his statement that “China will wage a battle, which will be quick and will be the last battle for Taiwan.” Ma showed his true colors “as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party” in his speech on Monday when he said the “first battle will be the last,” Taiwan Republic Office (台灣國辦公室) director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵) said. “Ma is threatening Taiwanese by claiming that Beijing will launch a quick invasion of Taiwan, but that the US military will have no