Typical users of WinMX, Grokster, Kazaa, Morpheus, LimeWire, and other P2P
file-sharing software will not feel any direct effects in the near future, although they are still at minimal risk of being sued
by the RIAA. The high court's ruling, a huge win for copyright holders, will be considered when the case (MGM vs. Grokster) is sent back to lower courts for final reckoning. However, file-sharing companies do face the grim reality of a new torrent of lawsuits claiming that their software contributes to or encourages copyright infringement.
On a larger scope, the decision will affect a wide range of technology companies who make (or are developing) products that may facilitate copyright infringement (Archos's AV420
, which can rip DVDs, immediately comes to mind). In addition to artists and their labels, the big beneficiaries are legal music and video download stores and services such as iTunes Music Store
, MSN Music
, and the relatively new To Go services
, which stand to gain even more momentum
if file-sharing sites are shut down.