Restores 19th Century Government Land Grab

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) applauded the Supreme Court for their decision in MGM Studios v. Grokster, which ruled that software developers can be held liable when their products foster the infringement of copyrighted movies and music. In a unanimous decision, the high court ruled against companies such as Grokster which base their business on the theft of intellectual property rights.

The case, which sought to stop the illegal downloading of copyrighted material by holding accountable the peer-to-peer (P2P) companies which provide it, was instrumental in laying the foundation for intellectual property rights protection. Today’s ruling is a victory not just for the entertainment industry, but ultimately for legitimate free markets and the American consumer. And it remains imperative that while protecting intellectual property, we must also respect the rights of electronic manufacturers who create innovative technologies for the future.

“Today, the Supreme Court has set a strong precedent in favor of protecting intellectual property rights, and is now moving in the right direction after last week’s disappointing decision in Kelo v. New London,” said Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform. “This ruling greatly discourages the black market activities that have been taking place for too long and sends a strong signal that intellectual property rights violations will not be tolerated.”

The unanimous decision to protect private property this week stands in sharp contrast to the 5-4 decision last week in Kelo v. New London, which allows the government to seize personal property for private development and higher tax revenue.

“There is now a huge discrepancy between the protection of intellectual property rights and the protection of real property by the government,” continued Norquist. “The Supreme Court must be consistent and realize that these property rights are one and the same. By these two rulings we can infer that the Court believes it necessary to protect the movies and music inside one’s house, but not the house itself.”