NFL, U.S. Government, 40 States Have Knives Out For File-Sharing Networks

Entertainment-industry supporters ask U.S. Supreme Court to hold file-trading services responsible for illegal downloading.

The fight over who's to blame for illegal downloading of songs and movies continued this week as the U.S government, 40 states and groups including the National Football League banded together against services such as Morpheus and Grokster.

The entertainment-industry supporters have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hold those and other Internet file-trading services responsible for songs and movies illegally downloaded from their networks, according to Reuters. They claimed, in legal briefs which were made public on Tuesday, that the peer-to-peer (P2P) networks are successful because they make illegal downloading attractive to users.

If the Supreme Court agrees with the entertainment industry, networks like Morpheus and Grokster would be vulnerable to copyright-infringement suits.

In the past, rulings from lower courts have said that the P2P networks are not responsible for copyright infringement because while their sites can be used for illegal downloading, they also have valid and legal uses.

The Supreme Court is reportedly scheduled to hear the case in March and hand down a ruling by June.

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