November 8, 2005 8:22
File sharing group loses court case
Grokster is forced to pay damages to the entertainment industry
The group has been ordered to pay £28.7 million in damages and stop all activity that leads to copyright infringement after losing a copyright case launched by the entertainment industry, reports the BBC.
The decison at a Los Angeles court, comes four months after a US Supreme Court ruled that the entertainment industry could file piracy lawsuits against technology companies caught encouraging customers to distribute music and films over the internet.
Mitch Bainwol, head of the Recording Industry Association of America, said in a statement: "This settlement brings to a close an incredibly significant chapter in the story of digital music. This is a chapter that ends on a high note for the recording industry, the tech community and music fans and consumers everywhere."
Grokster's website has since been altered and it now says its peer-to-peer service is illegal.
A statement on their website said: "The United States Supreme Court unanimously confirmed that using this service to trade copyrighted material is illegal. Copying copyrighted motion picture and music files using unauthorised peer-to-peer services is illegal and is prosecuted by copyright owners."
Despite the ruling, Grokster users will still be able to copy music, movies and software from each others' hard drives because it is impossible to block file sharing software once its released on the net.
According to online analysts BigChampagne, sharing of copyrighted material over the web is also up to 9.2 million compared with 6.3 million a year ago.