MGM v. Grokster
545 U.S. 913 (2005)
MGM brought suit against Grokster and StreamCast for infringing upon their copyrighted material. Grokster created peer to peer software that rivaled Napster and when Napster was under investigation they sought to pick up Napster’s customers. Grokster advertised its software’s ability to download copyrighted material. The case went through the U.S. District Court of California which granted summary judgment to Grokster and was appealed to the 9th Circuit Court. They affirmed the ruling. The Supreme Court asked, “Is a company, who makes a product that has both lawful and unlawful capabilities, liable for infringements by third parties?” They vacated the appeals judgment and remanded the case back for more proceedings in line with the Supreme Court’s opinion. The court held that if someone sells a device in a way that promotes its use to infringe copyrights then they are liable for the infringing acts of those who use the device.