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Appeal Brief Provides FastTrack Insight
August 21, 2003
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A few weeks ago the 26 entertainment companies that are suing those connected with FastTrack appealed the summary judgement. The summary judgement ruled in favour of the liability of 2 defendants StreamCast and Grokster Ltd. The judge in recent weeks gave the Plaintiffs a tight deadline to submit a brief for the appeal. In recent days they have submitted this brief.

The brief, like previous submissions in the case, provides an interesting insight into the workings of the FastTrack network. It contains a series of allegations by the plaintiffs with regard to the defendant’s actions. In particular they are mainly related to StreamCast and Grokster Ltd alleged control over their respective current and previous products.

Interestingly, the brief weights in heavily on the OpenNap links of both Grokster and StreamCast. It even refers to the OpenNap service Swaptor that was previously run by Grokster’s owners. The summary judgement only removed liability for the current version of their software. The RIAA may be attempting to take advantage of this by attempting to question liability over their previous and more controllable p2p products.

Again the RIAA et al are claiming that those who own a licence to FastTrack also exercise some control over it. In the brief they state that the defendants “update the list of supernodes” attached to the software. However the RIAA has dropped its claim that that the defendants operate root supernodes that determine the location of supernodes. They believe that this is no longer the case with these 2 defendants. They may now believe like Judge Wilson that Sharman and/or KaZaZ BV now operate a root supernode.

The claims of control that the RIAA allege that Grokster can excerise are few. They extend to blocking of hostile IP ranges and usernames. The brief also states that Grokster conspired with kazaa to ensure the removal of Morpheus from the FastTrack network. However, overall the claims of control by the RIAA et al against Grokster and StreamCast seem weak.

A response brief by StreamCast and Grokster is due by September 17 at the latest. No matter who wins this appeal it will almost certainly end up in the supreme court.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
P2P Clients :: FastTrack
Legal/Courtroom :: Developer Lawsuits

The brief can be read here (PDF)

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