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Morpheus Seeks to Void Part of Suit

January 23, 2002|Jon Healey

Attorneys for the controversial Morpheus online file-sharing service asked a federal judge to reject part of the copyright infringement suit brought by major record companies and Hollywood studios.

The lawsuit against Nashville-based MusicCity Networks Inc., which developed Morpheus, and two similar companies, accuses them of enabling consumers to make free copies of movies and music online in violation of the labels' and studios' copyrights.

Lawyers for MusicCity's parent company and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group for civil liberties online, asked U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson in Los Angeles to dismiss half of the infringement claims because Morpheus is protected by the Supreme Court's decision in the landmark Sony Betamax case.

In that ruling, the Supreme Court held that a technology with substantial, legitimate uses couldn't be banned simply because some people used it to violate copyrights.

Jon Healey

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