Hoyer, Bono Joint Statement on Grokster Ruling

Representatives Are Co-Founders of the Congressional Recording Arts and Sciences Caucus

For Immediate Release:

June 27, 2005

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) and Representative Mary Bono (R-CA) released the following statement today in response to the Supreme Court’s 9-0 decision in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd.:
 
"We are extremely pleased that the Supreme Court's 9-0 decision in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. case protects the innovative and copyrighted works of our nation’s creative community.  This decision supports our U.S. industries that employ more than five million Americans and produce one of our top exports: intellectual property, including motion pictures and music. Furthermore, it is a strong repudiation to the rapid proliferation of copyright piracy on the internet.
 
Over 90% of the use of Grokster software is for infringement purposes. Therefore, this decision prevents the legitimization of peer-to-peer file sharing software programs such as Grokster that encourage and facilitate the illegal sharing of copyrighted works.   This activity subverts not only our economy, but also the creative community, such as songwriters, musicians, screen writers and other artists who drive American creative and artistic innovation.
 
Clearly, technological advancements have fostered the enjoyment of these creative works. There can be a future for peer-to-peer networks as long as they uphold copyright protections.  However, while we have a healthy debate on how to reconcile intellectual property laws in the face of new technologies, our government first must protect intellectual property rights.  As we move into the digital marketplace, it is incumbent upon the courts and policymakers to demonstrate that they can and will protect intellectual property rights now and in the future.  Therefore, we strongly support the decision of the Supreme Court in this case.  We are hopeful that this decision will ensure that any further litigation proceeds with the goal of ending this infringing activity.”           
 
Congresswoman Mary Bono and Congressman Steny Hoyer are the co- founders and co-chairs of the Congressional Recording Arts and Sciences Caucus.

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