June 27, 2005 09:25 ET

Largest National Organization of Engineers and Technologists Responds to Supreme Court Ruling on Electronic File-Sharing

IEEE-USA Spokesman/Engineer/Intellectual Property Attorney and IEEE-USA President-Elect Available for Comment

WASHINGTON, DC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 27, 2005 -- This week the Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision in the MGM Studios vs. Grokster electronic file-sharing case. The case represents an increasingly publicized debate that tries to strike balance between innovations in information technology and protection of intellectual property.

Available for comment on the recent Supreme Court decision is IEEE-USA spokesman Andrew Greenberg. An intellectual property attorney and computer game engineer, he is conversant in many legal, technological, and intellectual aspects of this case:

--  Greenberg was one of the principal authors of IEEE-USA's amicus brief
    (filed in January) in this case; he attended the oral arguments.
--  Greenberg has significant experience in the computer industry as an
    attorney, executive and engineer.
--  Greenberg designed and published several best-selling computer games.
"IEEE engineers are on the front line of the copyright and file-sharing issues," says Greenberg. "We are activists for balance because we really do represent both sides of this issue."

Also available for comment on the overall industry perspective is IEEE-USA President-Elect Ralph Wyndrum. Wyndrum has worked as an engineer for more than 40 years, holding various positions in integrated circuit design and transmission development before rising to technology vice president at AT&T Labs.

On the Court's ruling, Wyndrum remarks: "The average person is clearly the beneficiary of new technology and, for example, may well participate in file sharing when that person transfers videos of his or her grandchildren, or videos of family members performing musical recitals, that sort of thing. Surely, we would not try to restrict that kind of use, which involves no kind of copyright issues at all."

Case Background: The case hinges on a lawsuit brought by entertainment companies that claimed that operators of file-sharing systems should be held responsible when their users copy music, movies and other protected works without permission. IEEE-USA contends that providers of such technologies should not be liable for the copyright infringement of users unless the provider has actively encouraged its users to infringe.

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