A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc.

A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc.
by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Syllabus

A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc., 239 F.3d 1004 (2001) was a landmark intellectual property case in which the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the ruling of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, holding that defendant, peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing service Napster, could be held liable for contributory infringement and vicarious infringement of the plaintiffs' copyrights. This was the first major case to address the application of copyright laws to peer-to-peer file-sharing.

239 F.3d 1004

A&M RECORDS, INC., a corporation; GEFFEN RECORDS, INC., a corporation; INTERSCOPE RECORDS; SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, INC.; MCA RECORDS, INC.; ATLANTIC RECORDING CORP.; ISLAND RECORDS, INC.; MOTOWN RECORD CO.; CAPITOL RECORDS, INC., Plaintiffs-Appellees

v.

NAPSTER, INC., Defendant-Appellant

JERRY LEIBER, individually and doing business as, JERRY LEIBER MUSIC; MIKE STOLLER and FRANK MUSIC CORP., on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs-Appellees,

v.

NAPSTER, INC., Defendant-Appellant

No. 00-16401, No. 00-16403

United States Court of Appeals,
Ninth Circuit.


October 2, 2000, Argued and Submitted, San Francisco, California

February 12, 2001, Filed


David Boies, Jonathan Schiller and Robert Silver, Boies, Schiller & Flexner, Armonk, New York, Laurence F. Pulgram, David L. Hayes, Daniel Johnson, Jr. and Darryl M. Woo, Fenwick & West, Palo Alto, California, for the defendant-appellant.

Russell J. Frackman, George M. Borkowski, Jeffrey D. Goldman, Roy L. Shults and Peter B. Gelblum, Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp, Los Angeles, California; Carey R. Ramos, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, New York, New York, for the plaintiffs-appellees.

Hannah Bentley, San Anselmo, California, for amicus Casanova Records.

Andrew P. Bridges, Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, Palo Alto, California, for amicus Digital Media Association.

Scott E. Bain, Wiley, Rein & Fielding, Washington, D.C., for amici Ad Hoc Copyright Coalition; Commercial Internet Exchange; Computer & Communications Industry Association; Information Technology Association of America; Net-coalition.com; United States Internet Industry Association, and United States Telecommunications Association.

Scott R. McIntosh, Civil Division, Department of Justice, Washington, D. C., for amicus United States.

Ann Brick, San Francisco, California, for amici American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.

Judith B. Jennison, Perkins Coie, San Francisco, California, for amicus Scour, Inc.

Ralph Oman, Dechert, Price & Rhoads, Washington, D.C., as amicus. Christopher Tayback, Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart, Oliver & Hedges, Los Angeles, California, for amicus National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.

E. Edward Bruce, Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C., for amicus Business Software Alliance.

Kevin T. Baine, Williams & Connolly, Washington, D.C., for amici Motion Picture Association of America, Inc., Software & Information Industry Association, American Film Marketing Association, Association of American Publishers, American Society of Media Photographers, Professional Photographers Association, Graphic Artists Guild, Interactive Digital Software Association, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Broadcast Music, Inc., Producers Guild of America, Directors Guild of America, Inc., Writers Guild of America, West, Inc., American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, Reed Elsevier, Inc., American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, Songwriters Guild of America, and AmSong, Inc.; Joel M. Litvin, New York, New York, for amicus National Basketball Association.

Salvatore A. Romano, Seyfarth, Shaw, Washington, D.C., for amici National Association of Recording Merchandisers, Inc. and Video Software Dealers Association.

Erwin Chemerinsky, University of Southern California School of Law, Los Angeles, California, for amicus Law Professors Erwin Chemerinsky, Kenneth L. Karst, Steven Shiffrin, Rodney A. Smolla and Marcy Strauss.

Barry I. Slotnick, Richards & O'Neil, New York, New York, for amicus Association for Independent Music.

Morton David Goldberg, Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, New York, New York, for amici Alliance Entertainment Corp., Audible Inc., Blue Spike, Inc., The Clandestine Group, Inc., Digimarc Corporation, Digital Media on Demand, Inc., Full-Audio Corporation, InterTrust Technologies Corporation, Oak Technology, Inc., Reciprocal, Inc., RioPort, Inc., RPK SecureMedia Inc., Verance Corporation, and VNU USA, Inc.

Richie T. Thomas, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, Washington, D.C., for amici Consumer Electronics Association, Digital Future Coalition, and Computer & Communications Industry Association.

Karen B. Tripp, Houston, Texas, for amici Association of American Physicians & Surgeons, Inc. and Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense Fund.

Professor Jessica Litman, Wayne State University Law School, Detroit, Michigan; Professor Keith Aoki, University of Oregon School of Law; Professor Ann Bartow, University of South Carolina School of Law; Professor Dan Burk, University of Minnesota; Professor Julie Cohen, Georgetown University School of Law; Professors Christine Haight Farley and Peter Jaszi, Washington College of Law, American University; Professor Lydia Pallas Loren, Lewis and Clark College Northwestern School of Law; Professor Pamela Samuelson, Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California Berkeley; Professor Shubha Ghosh, University at Buffalo, SUNY; Professors Paul J. Heald, Allen Post Professor of Law, L. Ray Patterson, Pope Brock Professor of Law, and Laura N. Gasaway, University of Georgia School of Law; Professor Michael Madison, University of Pittsburgh School of Law; Professor Ruth Okediji, University of Oklahoma Law School; Alfred C. Yen, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law, Boston College Law School; Professor Diane Zimmerman, New York University School of Law, and Professor Dennis Karjala, Arizona State University College of Law, for amicus Copyright Law Professors.

Before: Mary M. Schroeder, Chief Judge, Robert R. Beezer and Richard A. Paez, Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge Beezer.