[NYT] Justices to Hear Case on Sharing of Music Files

The Ninth Circuit had found Napster liable because the company itself maintained and controlled the servers that searched for the digital files its users wanted to download. Grokster and StreamCast, by contrast, operate decentralized systems that allow users to find each other over the Internet and then exchange files directly. Consequently, the appeals court said, the two services did not exercise the kind of control that could lead to legal liability for infringing uses.