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Trade groups seek sharing networks' liability

The chief trade groups for the movie industry and record labels Tuesday asked
the Federal Appeals Court in San Francisco to rule that file-sharing networks such as
Grokster Ltd. and StreamCast Networks Inc. are liable for copyright infringement when their services
are used to illegal download films and music without permission.

A lower court ruled earlier that distributing works without permission was
illegal but that file-sharing-network operators could not be blamed for actions of
their users.

The Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry
Association of America argued that the damage done to artists and to audiences who
will be deprived of new works of art if producers can't make a living, saying the
lower court made a big mistake.

"This nation is founded on the fundamental principle that taking property
that belongs to someone else is wrong, legally and morally, whether you do the
stealing yourself or you aid others in stealing," MPAA
president Jack Valenti said.