Illegal file-sharing service Grokster has agreed to stop distributing software that allows users to copy songs, films and software over the Internet after losing its case before the US Supreme Court and pay $50 million (£28.7m) to settle piracy complaints by Hollywood and the music industry.
The settlement permanently bans Grokster from participating, directly or indirectly, in the theft of copyrighted files and requires the company to stop giving away its software, according to court papers.
The site posted the following statement on its website:
“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 unauthorized peer-to-peer services is illegal and is prosecuted by copyright owners.
“There are legal services for downloading music and movies. This service is not one of them”.
Mitch Bainwol, Chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). “This is a chapter that ends on a high note for the recording industry, the tech community and music fans and consumers everywhere. At the end of the day, this is about our ability to invest in new music. An online marketplace populated by legitimate services allows us to do just that”.
The settlement with the Recording Industry Association of America follows the high court's unanimous ruling in June that Grokster and other "peer to peer" networks can be held liable if they induce users into violating copyright laws.
The recording industry keen to claw back lost profits over the past 5 year slump believes:
“The Grokster verdict has spurred growth and innovation for legal music services, including a legitimate peer-to-peer market”, said David Israelite, Chairman and CEO of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA). “Now that a legal online entertainment environment has been established, the ultimate winners in the Grokster case are the music fans, who now have more options than ever before to hear the music they love”.
Grokster said that it hopes to have a safe and legal service available soon.