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NAB Sides with MGM in Grokster

The National Association of Broadcasters has filed a "friend of the court" brief with the Supreme Court siding with studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. in the Grokster Ltd. case.

A court of appeals held that software producers like Grokster could not be sued for the illegal copying and sharing of copyrighted material among users of their software.

Fair use fans have hailed the decision, while studios and other intellectual property owners like MGM say it threatens their core assets.

Saying broadcasters have to pay for their copyrighted material, NAB argued that shielding companies like Grokster threatens broadcasters' ability to offer geographic exclusivity for programming, concluding that:

"This Court should not uphold a decision that penalizes content distributors who respect the copyright laws by immunizing from liability software purveyors who enable and encourage peer to peer content distribution involving the mass transmission of copyrighted material blatantly in violation of the law and the careful balance of protections developed by Congress and the courts."